BANGKOK – A Civil Court has accepted a class action case against a subsidiary of Ford Thailand filed by 308 car owners for 24 million baht in damages.
The problem involves the Power-Shift transmission, Ford’s six-speed dual clutch semi-automatic gearbox (DPS6), which some users alleged they had trouble with.
The users of Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Ford Eco Sport filed the charges in April last year against four of Ford’s subsidiaries — Ford Motor Company (Thailand) Co Ltd, Ford Sales and Services (Thailand) Co Ltd, Ford Operations (Thailand) Co Ltd and Ford Services (Thailand) Co Ltd.
They accused the companies of selling unsafe products due to substandard production and distribution and of false advertising.
At the time, 10 owners, representing 421 others, filed the case, seeking damages totalling 24.7 million baht. After a settlement, 113 withdrew, leaving 308 as plaintiffs in the case.
The court scheduled to decide whether to accept the case on Monday.
During the session, the plaintiffs decided to pursue the case only against Ford Sales and Services (Thailand) and dropped the charges against the other three companies.
The court decided to allow a class action trial for convenience, speed and efficiency with no effect on persons or groups outside the case.
The plaintiff’s witnesses will be heard on Aug 1 and those of the defendants will be heard on Aug 30-31.
The court scheduled a ruling on Sept 28.
Meanwhile, in the United States Objectors have urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject a proposed $35 million Ford transmission defect class action settlement, claiming that many Class Members will not receive meaningful relief.
They claim that the Ford class action settlement’s actual value will be closer to $3.5 million because of the relatively small percentage of Class Members who are expected to file claims and because former owners of the affected vehicles do not qualify for benefits.
“The vast majority of class members do not qualify for any relief under the settlement, even though they may have suffered harm equal to or exceeding that experienced by the small subclass entitled to relief, and even though they may be sacrificing claims of greater value because of differences in state consumer protection laws,” the objectors said.
The Ford transmission defect class action lawsuit was filed in 2015 and alleges that certain Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus vehicles are equipped with an automatic transmission that has a potentially dangerous defect.
The plaintiffs claim their Ford vehicles came equipped with the Power-Shift Transmission, which they paid more than $1,000 to have in their cars instead of a manual transmission.
According to the Ford automatic transmission defect class action lawsuit, the affected vehicles experience bucking, kicking, jerking, slipping, and/or harsh engagement. The transmission defect can also allegedly cause sudden or delayed acceleration and make it difficult for a driver to stop the vehicle.
This Ford PowerShift transmission defect can also cause catastrophic failure of the affected vehicles’ transmission, the plaintiffs allege.
The Ford automatic transmission defect class action settlement received final approval on Oct. 18, 2017, but appeals were subsequently filed.
Class Members of the proposed Ford class action settlement include any current owners and/or lessees of a 2012-2016 Ford Focus or 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta vehicle equipped with a Power-Shift dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Potential benefits from the Ford class action settlement include but are not limited to the repurchase of the Class Vehicle through an arbitration procedure; cash payments of up to $2,325; and discount certificates valued at $4,650 toward the purchase of a new vehicle.
Class Members may download a paper Claim Form from the settlement website (www.FordTransmissionSettlement.com). However, claims will not be processed or paid until the class action settlement’s effective date, which can only occur after the appeals have been resolved.
Top Class Actions will post updates to this Ford class action settlement as they become available. For the latest updates, keep checking TopClassActions.com or sign up for our free newsletter. You can also receive notifications when this article is updated by using your free Top Class Actions account and clicking the “Follow Article” button at the top of the post.
Class Members are represented by Glenn Danas, Ryan H. Wu and Jordan Lurie of Capstone Law APC and by Eric Lechtzin of Berger Montague PC.
The Ford Transmission Defect Class Action Lawsuit is Omar Vargas, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., Case No. 17-56745, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.