A class action lawsuit has been filed alleging 2017-19 Focus and Fiesta vehicles were manufactured with defective PowerShift transmissions. The filing, made by the same class action law firm behind a previous class settlement involving earlier models affected by the DPS6 PowerShift transmission, represents yet another legal action filed against Ford. This new class action may impact thousands of current and former owners through a class settlement binding on all owners who fail to timely opt out. Our firm has serious concerns about what the terms of such a settlement could look like, especially given the challenges so many class members faced in the last class action settlement, in addition to the importance of pursuing an individual claim for those with 2017-19 PowerShift transmission problems.
With its filing of a class action lawsuit against Ford for the 2017-19 Fiesta and 2017-18 Focus, Capstone Law has effectively closed the circle on legal actions against the manufacturer for its DPS6 PowerShift transmission efforts. The transmission, a dual clutch system that is effectively a manual transmission managed and operated by a computer, has been a major source of frustration for thousands of owners. Problems with the Ford PowerShift transmission can involve lurching, refusal to accelerate, shudder, inability to start the vehicle, failure to start and more. For years owners of these vehicles would bring their car into the dealership requesting a repair and be informed the problem could not be replicated, that it was simply ‘how the vehicle worked’ or that it was seemingly made up/in their heads. This resulted in a lack of repairs, preventing owners from having their vehicle fixed to the degree they felt comfortable driving and receiving the benefit of the investment they made when originally purchasing the vehicle.
This absence of repairs also proved to be a major issue for those who remained in the earlier class action settlement reached between Capstone and Ford. That settlement’s arbitration program relied upon repair counts, mileage, and restrictive state Lemon laws to determine whether an owner deserved a buyback of their vehicle. Because state Lemon laws can require significant repairs in a short period of time, with limited mileage, many owners were unable to obtain the repairs they needed to qualify for a buyback. Instead, far too many owners with transmission problems in a seriously defective vehicle received nothing for their troubles. Given reported parts shortages surrounding key components of the DPS6 transmission that we are hearing about from current clients and those desperate for options, we expect a 2017-19 PowerShift class action settlement in this matter that mirrors the previous settlement would be catastrophic for those whose repair history does not again align with the requirements of limited state Lemon laws.
Stern Law is not a class action law firm. Instead, just as we have done for those who would have been automatically included in the earlier class settlement and instead chose to opt out to pursue an individual claim for all the damages they deserve, our firm pursues these individual claims based upon the unique circumstances of each client. In pursuing fair compensation for each individual claimant, we avoid sweeping catch-all class action outcomes that can fail to account for the troubles uniquely faced by every owner or former owner. We anticipate hearing from thousands of current and former owners of 2017-19 PowerShift transmission vehicles about their legal options outside of the class action and encourage you to contact us today to learn more about your legal options before it’s too late.