SAN FRANCISCO—(BUSINESSWIRE)– Lieff Cabraser and Jones Ward filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company in California federal court today on behalf of Californians who purchased or leased 2015-2017 Ford Transit Vans equipped with allegedly defective transmission parts, resulting in expensive damages to the vehicles and presenting a significant safety risk to passengers.
As alleged in the complaint, Ford’s Transit Vans have a serious defect that can cause the driveshaft flexible coupling, also known as a flex disc, to crack and ultimately to fail, sometimes in a catastrophic fashion. The flex disc is a type of rubber joint, which connects the transmission to the driveshaft and ultimately transmits power through the vehicle. The flex disc failure can cause the driveshaft violently to tear away from the transmission, which can result in severe damage surrounding vehicle components, including brake and fuel lines, the transmission, rear end differential, torque converter, evaporation container, and other parts, mangling the driveshaft in the process. The damage to these components can cause a dangerous loss of vehicle control, including the loss of brakes and engine power.
Photo: Image of a Ford Transit Van driveshaft flex disc of the kind at issue in the lawsuit filed today showing evidence of cracks but not yet catastrophic failure.
Many transit van purchases and leases are made by owners of small companies such as home maintenance companies, daycares, and patient transport services.
“When small business owners make large investments in work vehicles, they should be able to count on multi-billion dollar companies like Ford to sell reliable and safe vehicles,” said attorney Mark Chalos, managing partner of Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville office. “When large corporations abuse the trust of consumers and small businesses, the corporations must be held accountable through the civil justice system.”
When vehicle owners complained to Ford about the defect, Ford allegedly denied knowledge or responsibility, blamed driver error, and did not cover the replacement of the failed flex disc or the repair, shifting the cost to vehicle owners – often small businesses – instead.
Photo: Image of a Ford Transit Van driveshaft mangled by the severe failure of a flex disc.
Plaintiffs allege Ford knew of the defect in 2014 through its knowledge of and experience with automotive engineering, pre-release evaluation and testing of the components and vehicles, as well as from sources such as field data, replacement part sales data, and early consumer complaints made directly to Ford and collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Office of Defect Investigation. Ford continued to market and to sell the vehicle despite the alleged defect. Ford finally initiated a safety recall in June 2017, but does not have a permanent fix at this time.
Legal Resources for Ford Transit Van Purchasers
If you purchased or leased a 2015-2017 Ford Transit Van, please contact a product defect attorney at Lieff Cabraser. We welcome the opportunity to review your case, and any information you provide will assist us in holding the defendants accountable for all conduct violating state and federal product defect laws.
About Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Recognized as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms” by The American Lawyer, Lieff Cabraser is a national plaintiffs’ law firm with offices in Nashville, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. We have successfully prosecuted scores of product defect class action lawsuits against many of the largest U.S. manufacturers and corporations. Working with co-counsel, we have achieved judgments and settlements in excess of $19 billion for consumers in these cases. Learn more at lieffcabraser.com.
About Jones Ward
Jones Ward is a national class action and mass torts law firm, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Jones Ward regularly pursues pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, and equipment manufacturers on behalf of consumers and injured persons.
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Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Mark P. Chalos