A law firm in California is looking to undo results from a previous class action lawsuit regarding two discontinued small car models from the Ford Motor Company. The firm hopes to secure a larger settlement for consumers affected by transmission issues associated with two of the automaker's vehicle models - the Focus and Fiesta. The company may have to fork over as much as $4 billion if the lawsuit is successful.
The lawsuit claims the automaker was aware of the transmission problems and purposely covered up this knowledge. Ford previously reached a settlement concerning the dual-clutch automatic transmissions in the vehicles in question for $35 million. The non-profit firm pursuing the new legal action concerning the same matter wants affected owners to get a fairer shake. Nearly 2 million drivers of both models reported transmission issues that included shuttering, jerking, and slowed acceleration.
Ford believes the original monetary award was fair. The company also denies the allegations made in the lawsuit. The non-profit firm taking on the automaker made reference to prior instances of "poor behavior" on the part of Ford. In 2014, the company admitted it violated lemon laws when it failed to fix transmission issues after inducing an individual to purchase a car they had to bring back for repairs that ultimately weren't effective. An additional 1,200 cases related to problems with Ford vehicles are pending in California.
A state or federal lemon law attorney may take a case involving vehicles with performance problems if there is evidence that efforts to fix warranty-covered issues have failed after a reasonable number of attempts. Common remedies include issuing a refund to the car owner or providing a suitable replacement vehicle.