Ford Motor Company has reached a settlement of a class action lawsuit pertaining to defective transmission and clutch assemblies in 2011-2016 Ford Focus and 2012-2016 Ford Fiesta vehicles. (Vargas, et al. v. Ford Motor Company (Case No. CV12-08388 AB (FFMx)). The settlement significantly limits the rights of California consumers. While California’s lemon law provides that defective vehicles should be repurchased or replaced, meaning the consumer gets their money back minus a mileage offset and offsets for any accessories, the Vargas v. Ford Motor Company class action settlement limits the lemon law remedies available to consumers. Instead of Ford consumers getting most of their money back, the settlement proposes to pay consumers a minuscule cash payment, or Ford will provide a certificate to buy another Ford vehicle. If problems persist, consumers’ rights to make future lemon law claims would be drastically limited.

The proposed class action settlement is particularly harmful for owners of 2014, 2015, and 2016 Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta vehicles who may not have had any of the defects appear yet in their vehicles. These defective vehicles were manufactured with Ford’s PowerShift Transmission, which is a dual clutch transmission notoriously prone to repeat failures that cause shudder, hesitation, acceleration problems, and loss of power. These consumers may not know that their vehicles will suffer from this defect, but the class action settlement requires California consumers of 2011-2016 Ford Focus and 2012-2016 Ford Fiesta vehicles to opt out of the class action settlement no later than September 5, 2017. If consumers do nothing, they may be bound by the restrictive terms of the settlement, even though they have no idea their vehicles may suffer from this defect. The proposed settlement drastically limits the lemon law rights of California consumers.

Lemon Law Aid is a California consumer protection firm dedicated to protecting the lemon law rights of California consumers. If you have a 2011-2016 Ford Focus or 2012-2016 Ford Fiesta vehicle with a defective PowerShift or dual clutch transmission, contact our office immediately for a no obligation consultation.

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