Ford hit with class action lawsuit over defective models from 2002 to 2010

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Ford Motor by customers across 14 states over certain models facing a spontaneous acceleration problem with no way to stop. The lawsuit specifically relates to Ford cars from 2002 to 2010, with claims that the manufacturer deliberately hid the issue from buyers, that led to the sale of vehicles that were not worth the amount consumers paid.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal Huntington, West Virginia court yesterday said, Ford could have and should have prevented the dangers presented by these foreseeable incidents by including (a fail-safe system or brake-override feature). It added, the company affirmatively concealed the defect from plaintiffs and the other class members.

The lawsuit specifically lists the 2002 to 2005 Mercury Cougar, the 2005 to 2010 Ford Mustang, and the 2004 through 2010 Ford Explorer. It lists 19 plaintiffs representing owners from 14 states across the US, ranging from Florida to New York and a bunch between. The plaintiffs hope to have representatives from every state by the time of the start of the trial.

The case is Belville v Ford Motor Co, 12-cv-06529, US District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Huntington). The company recalled nearly 200,000 vehicles, earlier this month, due to an issue that could potentially cause a sudden engine stall, which also posed a safety risk, although no crashes had been reported due to the issue.

The lawsuit states, 2002-10 Ford Motor vehicles contained a "design defect" in the electronic control of the gas pedals, making them susceptible to sudden, unintended acceleration.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Ford owners in 14 states goes into great detail about the alleged defect in the models named in the lawsuit that do not have brake override technology, which stops the car in the event of the activation of the brake and the gas pedal at the same time.

According to Chicago-based attorney Adam Levitt, one of the lawyers leading the litigation, for too long Ford had put its own financial interests ahead of its consumers' safety. He added, it was hoped the lawsuit would shed light on this important situation and require Ford to correct its ways, compensate its customers and put them first.

The lawsuit cites a 2011 report by the Transportation Department's inspector general that showed Ford had the same number of deaths and injuries from these electronic throttle controls as Toyota: 374 from 2003 through 2009.

Over the period, Ford had 22 per cent of all complaints of unintended acceleration more than any of the other major auto manufacturers, according to the report.