The agreement, which follows nearly 4 years of litigation including 1 full year of settlement negotiations, affects owners and lessees of Ford Fiestas and Ford Focuses from model years 2011-2016.
Ford did not oppose the settlement, but continues to deny any wrongdoing associated with the alleged transmission defect, which caused affected vehicles to “slip,” “buck,” “kick” or “jerk” while accelerating, according to owners.
A quick search of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database found more than 500 such complaints filed by Fiesta and Focus owners.
The lawsuit was filed in California, but because of its status as a class action, drivers in Indiana and Michigan qualify for compensation under the settlement as well.
Ford initially offered customer service programs which included free repairs and warranty extensions, but many vehicle owners were forced to fix the problem on their own, according to the class action. Plaintiffs claim that affected vehicles required multiple software and hardware repairs that took weeks or even months to be completed.
Per the agreement, class members with 3 or more visits to replace 1 of the main transmission parts will receive $200 for the 3rd visit, plus increasing amounts for any additional repair trips. Owners could also choose to receive a discount toward the purchase of a new Ford vehicle equaling twice the amount of whatever cash they qualified to receive.
In all, class members may be eligible to collect up to $2,325 in cash or $4,650 in credit, according to the lawsuit. Considering that Ford ordered about 6 million replacement parts for roughly 1.5 million vehicles, it is expected that a large number of Fiesta and Focus owners will qualify for compensation per the settlement.
Source: Road and Track