Ford Faces a Lawsuit Due to Unintended Acceleration

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Ford Faces a Lawsuit Due to Unintended Acceleration

Not only has Toyota experienced problems with their vehicles having unintended acceleration issues, but Ford is now facing the issue as well. A lawsuit was filed against Ford Motor Co. for several Ford and Lincoln vehicles that were manufactured between 2002 and 2010 that have unintentional acceleration problems and “adequate fail-safe systems” to prevent crashes. The lawsuit was filed in West Virginia on behalf of consumers in 14 different states.

The lawsuit describes situations in which drivers of Ford vehicles had issues with the vehicles electronic throttle system. The problems resulted in their vehicles accelerating unexpectedly with the driver being unable to stop the vehicle using the brake. The lawsuit does not include any claims of personal injury or wrongful death. Ford allegedly knew about this defect and did not share it with consumers. Consumers are hoping to get compensation for paying too much for vehicles that were defective. Most consumers were under the assumption that they paid for a vehicle that was equipped with a brake-override system installed.

In 2009, Toyota had a similar situation with unintended acceleration, these systems, also known as smart pedals, were only being used by the European automakers. Now, the systems are far more common and by 2010, Toyota had claimed that the company had installed Smart Stop on 2.2 million vehicles.

Ford responded with a statement it had compiled with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, “NHTSA’s work is far more scientific and trustworthy than work done by personal injury lawyers and their paid experts. In rare situations, vehicles factors, such as floor mats or throttle operation, and manufacturers have addressed these rare events in the field service actions.”

The Ford vehicles affected by this acceleration issue are:

Ford vehicles: 2005-2007 models 500s; 2005-2009 Crown Victorias; 2005-2010 Econolines; 2007 2010 Edges; 2009-2010 Escapes; 2005-2010 Escape HEVs; 2005-2010 Expeditions; 2004-2010 Explorers; 2007-2010 Explorer Sport Tracs; 2004-2010 F-Series; 2009-2010 Flex; 2008-2010 Focus; 2005-2007 Freestyles; 2006-2010 Fusions; 2005-2010 Mustangs; 2008-2010 Taurus; 2008-2009 Taurus Xs; 2002-2005 Thunderbirds; and 2010 Transit Connects.

Lincoln vehicles: 2003-2006 LS; 2006-2008 Mark LTs; 2009-2010 MKS; 2010 MKTs; 2007-2010 MKXs; 2006-2010 MKZs; 2005-2009 Town Cars; and 2006-2010 Zephyrs.

Mercury vehicles: 2002-2005 Cougars (XR7); 2005-2009 Grand Marquis; 2009-2010 Mariners; 2005-2010 Mariner HEVs; 2006-2010 Milans; 2005-2007 Montegos; 2004-2010 Mountaineers; and 2008-2010 Sables.

Source: New York Times, “Suit claims Ford failed to protect vehicles from unintended acceleration,” Christopher Jensen, March 29, 2013.

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