Mustang Owners Suing Ford Over Defective Manual Transmission
Recently, Ford agreed to buy back vehicles with defective automatic transmissions from the Focus and Fiesta vehicles. The buy back could cost Ford nearly half a billion dollars. Now, Ford is facing another problem, this time with their flagship muscle car, the Mustang. The worst part of the problem is that the affected transmissions aren’t even automatic. They’re manual!
Now, a group of Mustang owners with manual transmissions are accusing Ford of producing a defective manual transmission. The class-action lawsuit involves Mustang owners from 2011 to 2020 who purchased vehicles with manual transmissions alleging issues with the vehicle’s manual gearbox. The affected vehicles have codes of MT82 and MT82-D4. The lawsuit contends that the gears wear out prematurely causing slipping, gnashing, and jerking.
Customers Say Problems Persist After Repairs
Customers who have taken their vehicles to be repaired say that the problem persists even afterward. They allege that a design defect causes the shift forks, shift shafts, synchronizers, and clutch assemblies to fail.
In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated 364 complaints related to the Mustang’s transmission. However, they closed the investigation after determining that there were no apparent safety issues.
Ford has acknowledged that the problem exists but maintains that only 3% of the vehicles with the affected transmission ever experience major problems. They have issued instructions to dealerships on how to correct the problem.
Plaintiffs allege that when Ford shifted to a Chinese manufacturer, the quality of their transmissions went down. However, Ford maintains that much of the problem is related only to simple wear and tear.
This Could Cost Ford a Lot of Money
Class-action lawsuits generally allege that there is a design defect that the manufacturer failed to warn prospective customers about and that the manufacturer refuses to acknowledge the problem, correct the problem, or reimburse the cost of the car. Since there are several people who have been affected by this problem, the plaintiffs are assigned a class and all their cases are heard at the same time.
In this case, Ford is setting up their defense by saying that yes, some of our vehicles are experiencing this problem, but not all of them. This means that plaintiffs will be placed into the position of proving that their individual vehicle suffered the same problems that the class-action lawsuit is alleging.
If the lawsuit is successful, it’s unclear how many vehicles Ford would be required to either buy back or reimburse the cost of repair. But given that there are nine years worth of vehicles that are said to be affected, it could cost Ford millions more.
Talk to a Florida Defective Auto Parts Attorney Today
If you’ve been in a vehicle accident related to a defective auto part, call the Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert today. We will conduct a full investigation of your accident and the auto part you believe is responsible and determine the strength of your case. Call today to learn more.