Class-action lawsuit seeks to represent all owners of affected Ford and Lincoln vehicles
Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator owners today filed a national class-action lawsuit against Ford stating that it failed to disclose and remedy a defect causing spontaneous fires in the engine compartment, according to Hagens Berman.
According to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the defect affects 39,000 vehicles and has resulted in at least 16 underhood fires and one injury. If you own or lease a Ford Expedition or Lincoln Navigator, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out more about the lawsuit and sign up for alerts.
SERIOUS SAFETY HAZARDS
In a safety recall notification to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford announced a defect exists in the engine compartment of affected vehicles that can cause them to spontaneously burst into flames while in operation, parked and running, or parked and off.
Affected vehicles include 32,711 model year 2021 Ford Expeditions and 6,302 model year 2021 Lincoln Navigators all built between Dec. 1, 2020 and Apr. 30, 2021. Hagens Berman is investigating additional Ford- and Lincoln-branded vehicles and model years.
“The catastrophic fire risk is the direct result of a defect that was known or should have been known to Ford and is still unremedied by Ford,” the lawsuit states. “Not only did Ford fail to disclose the Spontaneous Fire Defect to consumers both before and after their purchases of the premium-priced model year 2021 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators, but it also misrepresented the vehicles’ safety, reliability, functionality, and quality by this omission… Ford also omitted the consequences, including the serious safety hazards and monetary harm caused by the Spontaneous Fire Defect…”
The lawsuit states that 12 of the reported fires occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, one occurred while the vehicle was parked and on, and three occurred while driving, with occupants reporting a burning smell and smoke from the front passenger engine compartment.
Ford’s report states that 14 of the fires were in rental vehicles, which suggests the fire defect may be related to mileage or use, thereby increasing the risk to owners if they continue to use their vehicle.
The complaint states that Ford has yet to identify, or even speculate, as to the cause of the fires, only noting that the fires originated from the passenger side rear engine compartment vicinity.
“Ford has a responsibility to provide its customers with a safe vehicle and promptly fix or provide a replacement when a defect causes safety issues,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “To this day, long after Ford knew or should have known that its vehicles were spontaneously bursting into flames, Ford has failed to provide a fix or even instruct owners to stop driving the vehicles, leaving its own customers in danger.”
The lawsuit seeks reimbursement and all damages permitted by law for vehicle owners, including diminution of value due to the Spontaneous Fire Defect and out-of-pocket costs.
Hagens Berman specializes in large-scale, complex class-action litigation, and has successfully recovered billions of dollars in settlements from automakers, including Ford, putting just repayment back into the hands of consumers nationwide. The firm recently negotiated a $1.3 billion settlement with Hyundai and Kia for an engine fire defect and has a pending class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler for spontaneous fires affecting its Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.