Dismissed Lawsuit Doesn’t Stop Ford Lugnuts from Causing Problems
Earlier this year, a federal court dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Ford alleging that certain lug nuts were dangerous and defectively designed. The lawsuit claimed that the lug nuts were prone to swelling and delaminating making them extremely difficult to remove during regular tire maintenance. Apparently, the dismissal of the class-action lawsuit hasn’t prevented more complaints from filing in.
A U.S. District Court judge dismissed the complaint in January ruling that the plaintiffs had not presented the court with “legally viable claims” or sufficient evidence that the lug nuts were a problem. Still, Ford service technicians claim that the lug nuts are still a problem.
No Lawsuit, No Recall
The lug nuts, which secure the tire to the wheel, remain a source of concern among Ford technicians and drivers. Among the allegations against the lug nuts are that road debris including dirt, road salt, and moisture can work its way under the cap causing the lug nut to corrode. Some believe that this could cause the wheel to fall off if the nut is not tightened properly.
However, to date, there are no known instances of Fords losing their wheels due to lug nut corrosion. In most cases, the lug nuts are just extremely difficult to work making it more difficult for Ford service techs to remove the tire from the wheel.
Since the swelling or expansion of the lug nut is a serious problem, many owners and technicians have complained that the wrenches provided in tool kits won’t fit the lug nut after it has expanded making repairs impossible. Part of the plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that Ford continued to use the inferior lug nut design to save reduce manufacturing costs.
Ford Blames Everyone Else
In response to these accusations, Ford literally claimed that all the individuals who were working on their cars were using the wrong size socket wrench. Some Ford dealers have said that they have not had any problems servicing vehicles with the offending lug nuts.
Part of the problem may be that there’s no way to tell what specifically is giving rise to warping lug nuts. The problem appears sporadically in dealerships and thus far, no one has ventured a solid scientific reason for why the lug nuts are delaminating and swelling. Typically, a judge would have to see at least some scientific evidence that the problem exists before permitting a case to go to trial. If the plaintiff’s attorneys were spitballing theories or couldn’t find a credible expert to present their claim, the case may very well have been dismissed with good reason even if the lug nuts are defective.
Talk to a Defective Tire Attorney Today
Your tires are the only thing that stand between you and hard pavement. When they fail, the risk to you and your family is considerable. If you’ve been injured in a tire-related accident, talk to the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today for a free consultation.