Ford's Deceptive Behavior
our lawsuit charges that FORD INTENTIONALLY MISLED AND, IN TURN, HARMED certain OWNERS OF The ford focus and fiesta equipped with a powershift transmission
First, our Mass Action Filing states that Ford has engaged in fraudulent behavior by ignoring customer complaints and allowing dealers to blame owners for these problems, while ignoring and concealing that this transmission was defective and that Ford had no universal "fix." All of Ford's excuses, whether that the car was "operating normally," "learning their driving style," "needed to be driven more," "was teaching people to drive better," or "needed more miles on it to work properly," etc... prevented owners from obtaining the repairs they deserved and, potentially, the buyback they may have been entitled to receive under state and federal law. When Ford offers you $200 IF you've received three transmission part replacements, but Ford misleads and discourages you from obtaining these part replacements by falsely telling you there's nothing wrong with your transmission, that can be seen as misleading, deceptive and even fraudulent conduct.
Second, the country of Australia has recently charged Ford with the same claim. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) states Ford "engaged in unconscionable and misleading or deceptive conduct, and made false or misleading representations in its response to customer complaints."
“The ACCC alleges that Ford misrepresented to customers who made complaints that the issues with their vehicles were caused by the way the driver handled the vehicle, even though Ford was aware of systemic issues with the vehicles from at least 2013,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
With this declaration, the ACCC reveals that our claims of improper and deceptive behavior by Ford are not just our own but, instead, the findings of a governmental authority that took a hard look at Ford's conduct in managing its defective Powershift transmission for which they have no universal "fix."
Third, many owners and lessees now mistakenly believe they're about to be paid $2,325 by Ford. However, the postcard Notice you may have received clearly states in the fine print that to qualify for even $200, you must have at least three transmission part replacements. To qualify for $2,325, you must have eight transmission part replacements. Eight transmission part replacements on eight separate visits. It's very rare in fact to see, in our experience, even three transmission part replacements. It seems likely few, if anyone, will ever receive the $2,325. Is this more misleading, and deceptive conduct?
What's needed now?
Ford must make a full, compete and truthful disclosure that, as thousands have reported to us, there is in fact something very wrong with the Powershift transmission, and that Ford has no permanent, universal "fix" for this condition. That's apparently what the government of Australia has just required. If Ford continues to refuse to make this disclosure and provide the required re-education of its dealerships, then Ford's conduct should be subjected to the same governmental scrutiny here in the United States.
It's simply misleading and deceptive as the government of Australia has just proclaimed, and even fraudulent, for Ford to continue to state that there's nothing wrong with this transmission and to claim, even in the Ford Class Action Settlement documents, that they've done nothing wrong while denying any responsibility. That's more misleading, deceptive and even fraudulent conduct that harms loyal owners and lessees of these vehicles.
We recognize there's a cost to Ford associated with buying back these vehicles if they cannot be repaired. However, that's what the law requires in our country, and in Australia. We do not tolerate corporations that mislead and deceive their consumers to avoid responsibility for their wrongdoing. We are instead concerned with protecting the rights of consumers that entrusted Ford with a significant financial investment and with their safety by buying and leasing a Ford vehicle. We care less about Ford's shareholders and others that may be willing to sacrifice these loyal consumers to protect Ford's profits and their stock price.
We also do not accept that Ford should be permitted to mislead and tempt owners with up to $2,350 in a postcard Notice when the company knows that very few, if any, will ever qualify because so few have received the eight transmission part replacements, on eight separate visits, which Ford requires before anyone can receive that $2,350. Ford's Class Action Settlement also subjects its owners and lessees to a buyback opportunity that again requires repair attempts under state Lemon law when Ford knows that it actively discouraged owners and lessees from ever securing the repair attempts it now requires to receive any buyback, by falsely claiming to owners that their Powershift transmission functioned normally, would self-correct or that the defect was merely, "in the head" of their owners. It is, it seems, all arranged to continue frustrating Ford's owners that will now be left with a defective transmission in a vehicle that continues to have some of the worst performing reliability and/or resale price.
That's just more of the same misleading and deceptive conduct that's responsible for creating this problem in the first place. Come clean, Ford!
What are we doing about it?
We're suing Ford on behalf of thousands of current and former owners, and lessees, and we're not charging our clients a fee for representing them in this action.