“Buyer’s remorse” is a concept many people who purchased
a Ford Fiesta or Focus in the 2011 to 2016 model years are well acquainted
with. Thousands of complaints have been filed against the American automotive
giant due to the Dual Clutch “Power Shift” transmission that
has been nothing but headaches. Many of these models are prone to bucking
and lunging, particularly when taking off from a stop, causing substantial
wear and tear. Ford has tried TCM and PCM updates, new clutches, and even
issuing full transmission replacements on these vehicles, but few owners
have found an adequate solution.
Now, Ford is paying the price for these defective vehicles as a class action
lawsuit has been filed and a preliminary settlement accepted by a court
here in California. This lawsuit entitles owners to a number of different
benefits, depending on how often their vehicle had to be repaired, and
what types of repairs were necessary as a result of these defective transmissions.
Let’s take a closer look at this settlement.
On July 7th, the Claims Administrator sent a short-form notice of the settlement to
all owners of a Ford Focus and Fiesta equipped with a Power Shift transmission,
which were all manufactured in the model years 2011 through 2016. If you
have received one of these letters, it will detail some of the things
you are entitled to more specifically, but just in case here are a few
of the basics:
- Both vehicle purchasers and leasees are included in this suit, and you
may be entitled even if you no longer own your vehicle.
- If your transmission is malfunctioning, like so many thousands of affected
units are, you may be entitled to a repair at no cost to you, or a repurchase
of your vehicle through an expedited arbitration program.
- You may be entitled to cash payments if Ford had to perform a software
flash on your vehicle three or more times while you owned or leased it.
- If three or more qualifying hardware parts had to be replaced, you may
be entitled to either cash payments or double the cash amount in vehicle
- You are entitled to reimbursement if you had to pay for a repair you believe
should have been covered by warranty, or your vehicle was manufactured
after June 5, 2013 and two or more clutch replacements were performed
while the vehicle was under warranty plus one additional out-of-warranty
repair you had to pay for.
Should I Accept the Settlement?
This lawsuit is estimated to cost Ford Motor Company millions of dollars
and provide relief for vehicle owners. However, if you’ve been struggling
with your Focus or Fiesta like so many others, is it worth accepting the
settlement? Believe it or not, there are certain situations in which you’re
actually better off opting out of the settlement and filing a suit on your own.
In this particular case, those who accept the settlement do so by waiving
their rights to pursue further legal action against the manufacturer.
However, you might be entitled to a better resolution to your case. So
before you accept a settlement regarding your vehicle, talk to a California
lemon law attorney about your options. Attorney Norman Taylor from Norman
Taylor & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation can work with
you to discuss your options and then help you through the process of filing
a lemon law claim. You may be able to have your vehicle purchase cost
refunded in full, as well as any service or repair costs associated with
the vehicle defects, including transmission problems.
If you do wish to opt out of this lawsuit, you must submit a request for
exclusion no later than September 5th, 2017. If you wish to object to the settlement for any reason (such as
if you don’t believe it is adequate to cover the costs you have
incurred as a result of your defective vehicle), then you must file these
objections with the court by that same date. The final approval hearing
will take place on October 2nd.
To speak with an attorney and learn more about your options regarding filing
a lemon law claim for your Ford Fiesta or Focus, call Norman Taylor &
Associates today by dialing 818.244.3905 for a free initial consultation.