Owners of Ford vehicles equipped with a PowerShift transmission may qualify to claim cash and other benefits under a recent class action settlement.
Class Members in the Ford class action settlement include current owners or lessees of a 2012-2016 Ford Focus or a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta equipped with a PowerShift transmission.
This litigation started back in 2012 with a Ford class action lawsuit filed by plaintiff Omar Vargas. Vargas alleged Ford’s PowerShift transmission, installed in certain model years of Ford Focus and Fiesta vehicles, was defective in a way that put passengers and other motorists at risk.
Several other Ford class actions were soon filed over essentially the same issue, involving more than a dozen other named plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs claim the PowerShift transmission “slips, bucks, kicks, jerks and harshly engages.” The defect can allegedly cause sudden or delayed acceleration and make it difficult to stop the vehicle.
The Ford class action also alleges that ultimately the defect may cause a catastrophic failure of the transmission.
According to the Ford class action settlement, the car manufacturer is required to pay all legitimate claims. While there isn’t a set value mentioned within settlement documents, experts familiar with the case estimate its worth at about $35 million.
Under terms of the PowerShift transmission class action settlement, owners and lessees of affected Ford Focus and Fiesta vehicles can qualify for several different kinds of benefits. Cash payments, discounts and repair services are available, depending on the Class Member’s particular situation.
The settlement also allows Class Members to arbitrate claims for repurchase or replacement of the entire vehicle, and for reimbursement of repairs due to warranty breach.
The Ford PowerShift transmission class action settlement was granted final approval for the first time on Oct. 18, 2017. However, after several appeals, the court renewed their motion for final approval on March 5, 2020 and opened up the revised settlement for additional claims.
Class Members have until Oct. 5, 2020 to file a claim for benefits if they had repairs performed before April 7, 2020.
If repairs were performed after this date, they have 180 days from the date of repairs to file a claim.
Class Members who previously submitted a claim are not required to resubmit but can make changes to their claims if they wish to.
The settlement website notes that both previously filed and newly filed claims will be reviewed and processed at the same time. However, the process may take “several months,” according to the settlement website, due to the large volume of claims and delays caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Class Members include current owners or lessees of a 2012-2016 Ford Focus or a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta equipped with a PowerShift transmission.
There are many different benefits available under this settlement.
- Class Members may choose either a cash payment or a discount off the purchase of a new vehicle if, while they owned or leased a Class vehicle, they had three or more visits to an authorized Ford dealer during which one of a list of specific parts was replaced in their PowerShift transmission. Cash payments are capped at $2,325 and discount certificate values are capped at $4,650.
- Class Members who had three or more visits to a dealer during which a Software Flash was performed on their vehicle can get a cash payment of $50 per visit, up to a maximum of $600.
- Class Members who were turned away by Ford dealers and told that nothing was wrong with their vehicles after seeking hardware or software repairs can receive a one time payment of $20.
- Class Members may opt to go through a binding arbitration process to determine whether Ford must repurchase or replace their Class vehicle. Eligibility will depend on the applicable state lemon law, among other factors. Class Members may be represented by an attorney in the arbitration. Ford will pay the Class Member up to $6,000 in attorney fees if the Class Member wins the arbitration. Class Members who lose the arbitration are not obligated to pay Ford’s attorney fees.
- The arbitration process can also cover the cost of repairs to the PowerShift transmission related to breach of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Relief may take the form of repair, reimbursement for prior repairs, or an extended service plan.
- For Class vehicles manufactured after June 5, 2013 that underwent two clutch replacements within five years or 60,000 miles of delivery and that still need an additional clutch replacement as determined by a Ford dealer, Class Members can seek reimbursement for the cost of that additional clutch replacement and provide a new two-year warranty on the replacement clutch.
Proof of Purchase
To get cash payments or vehicle discounts, Class Members must submit documentation establishing the vehicle identification number, or VIN; dates of applicable repairs, software flashes or clutch replacements, and the vehicle’s mileage at the time; the name and address of the dealer where the applicable services were performed; a description of the services performed; and proof that the Class Member owned the vehicle at the time the services were performed.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
10/5/2020 for repairs performed on or before April 7, 2020 (updated)
180 days after repair(s) for repairs performed after April 7, 2020.
The later of 10/5/2020 or 180 days after refusal for $20 cash payments.
The later of six years after delivery of the vehicle to the first retail purchaser or 10/5/2020 for requests for repurchase arbitration.
Vargas, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., Case No. 2:12-cv-8388-AB-FFMx; Klipfel, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., Case No. 2:15-cv-2140-AB-FFMx; and Cusick, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., Case No. 2:15-cv-8831-AB-FFMx, all in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
UPDATE: The Ford PowerShift Transmission Class Action Settlement was granted final approval on October 18, 2017. However, on November 17, 2017, appeals to the settlement were filed. Claims will not be paid until all appeals are exhausted. We appreciate your ongoing patience. Top Class Actions will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
UPDATE 2: On Feb. 2, 2018, objectors have urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject a proposed $35 million Ford transmission defect class action settlement, claiming that many Class Members will not receive meaningful relief.
UPDATE 3: On September 13, 2019, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Ford PowerShift Transmission Class Action Settlement, and directed the District Court to review the settlement in more detail. Top Class Actions will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
UPDATE 4: On October 22, 2019, the District Court reaffirmed Ford PowerShift Transmission Class Action Settlement. The final hearing for the reaffirmed settlement agreement is currently scheduled for February 20, 2020. Top Class Actions will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
UPDATE 5: The revised Ford PowerShift Transmission Class Action Settlement was granted final approval on March 5, 2020. Class members and claimants should contact the settlement administrator with any questions about the revised settlement. Top Class Actions will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
Ford Transmission Settlement
c/o Kurtzman Carson Consultants
P.O. Box 404000
Louisville, KY 40233-4000
Jordan L. Lurie
Tarek H. Zody
Cody R. Padgett
Karen L. Wallace
CAPSTONE LAW APC
Russel D. Paul
BERGER & MONTAGUE PC
Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr.
ZIMMERMAN LAW OFFICES PC
John M. Thomas
Krista L. Lenart
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC
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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.