Ford’s F-Series trucks have been the United States’ #1 selling vehicle for decades. However, a recent class action lawsuit alleges that recent model years of Ford F-150 trucks may have serious defects that increase the risk of an accident, injury or death. In particular, these Ford F-150 trucks allegedly experience excessive oil consumption and other serious engine problems.
The California Lemon Law exists to ensure that those who bought or leased defective vehicles have some legal recourse. If you believe that your 2018–2020 Ford F-150 truck experiences serious, recurring problems that Ford dealerships or authorized repair shops have been unable to fix, you may need the representation of a California lemon law attorney to exercise your lemon law rights.
What’s wrong with some Ford F-150 trucks?
According to Lyman v. Ford, 2018–2020 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with 5-L “Coyote” engines consume oil at excessively high rates.
The lawsuit alleges that the oil change indicator could light up as soon as 3,000 miles after the previous oil change. Defects in the Coyote engine allegedly cause rapid oil consumption, low oil levels, poor lubrication of engine parts, engine rattling, engine stalling and ultimately engine failure while driving at any speed. The oil issues allegedly damage other components such as oxygen sensors, catalytic converters and spark plugs as well.
According to the lawsuit, defective pistons and piston ring assemblies allegedly allow oil to enter the engine’s combustion chamber. Though engine oil is supposed to be separate from the combustion cycle, the lawsuit alleges that oil is burned and consumed during the combustion cycle.
When combustion gases escape the combustion chamber, the crankcase becomes pressurized. The positive crankshaft ventilation (PCV) system is supposed to prevent crankcase contamination and help reduce vehicle emissions. However, the PCV system in these Ford F-150 trucks is allegedly defective. As a result, the PCV system allegedly does not reduce pressure caused by the combustion gases.
The Ford F-150 trucks allegedly release higher emissions because of the faulty engines. Oil is supposed to recirculate for further lubrication of engine parts. However, since oil is allegedly burned off in the combustion process, fuel efficiency goes down and carbon deposits form inside the engine. This can cause damage to the engine, ignition components and emissions parts.
How has Ford responded to the alleged oil consumption defects?
According to the class action lawsuit, Ford has ignored problems, claimed high oil consumption rates were “normal,” offered shoddy remedies for the oil consumption problem, and refused to pay for pricey repairs that the engines ultimately needed.
The lawsuit cites several technical service bulletins (TSBs) that show Ford’s poor response to the oil consumption problem. Ford technicians were initially instructed to replace or change faulty parts and monitor oil consumption rates. If the oil consumption rate was too high, technicians were told to replace engine blocks, which took 12 hours.
However, consumers allege that Ford technicians later were told to stop replacing the engines. Instead of replacing the engine, Ford technicians allegedly were instructed merely to change or add oil to the engine, change the oil filter, reprogram powertrain control modules and replace oil dipsticks.
Oil dipsticks have marked fill levels that indicate the minimum and maximum levels of oil to be contained. The lawsuit alleges that the old oil dipsticks were replaced with dipsticks that had lowered minimum levels, and that this was intended to hide the oil consumption problem.
What do I get from opting out of a class action lawsuit?
You have to opt out if you want to retain your right to sue individually. Once you do, you are free to pursue an individual lemon law claim.
If you stay in the class action, you waive your right to sue as an individual both during and after the settlement. Additionally, class action lawsuits often have thousands of members. As a result, individual members of class action suits may only get meager cuts of the final settlement.
If you opt out and sue as an individual, you may sue for charges more specific to your situation. As a result, you may receive a greater settlement for your defective vehicle.
Typically, those affected by a class action will receive a notice that outlines the allegations made in the lawsuit and tells consumers that they retain the right to opt out of the suit. These notices usually include instructions on how to opt out. However, it is best to consult an attorney on the specifics of opting out, such as opt-out deadlines.
Once you opt out of a class action lawsuit, you can independently pursue a California lemon law claim.
California residents who bought or leased vehicles from licensed California dealerships can pursue lemon law cases if their vehicles have repeated problems that couldn’t be fixed within a reasonable number of attempts.
If your vehicle has a recurring problem that hasn’t been fixed despite multiple repair attempts, you may be eligible for one of the following awards under the California Lemon Law: cash compensation, a vehicle replacement or a lemon law buyback. A replacement vehicle has to be roughly similar to the model that had been declared a “lemon;” this typically means you will receive a vehicle of the same make and model.
If you receive a lemon law buyback, you are refunded for the full purchase price of your faulty vehicle, minus a deduction called a “mileage offset.” This deduction is determined by the number of “good miles” you got out of your vehicle before the defect first appeared.
However, it is difficult to achieve the award you deserve without the help of experienced California lemon law attorneys.
You do not have to go through the lemon law process alone. Our California lemon law attorneys can help you get the legal outcome you deserve.
Knight Law Group has helped thousands of California residents navigate the lemon law process and given them a fair fight against auto manufacturers who supplied these faulty vehicles. Our multilingual staff can answer any questions you may have about common vehicle defects and the California Lemon Law process. Should you choose us to represent you, we will provide you up-to-date information on your lemon law case.
If you have any questions about your situation, common Ford defects or the California Lemon Law, fill out the form below or call us at 877-222-2222 for a free lemon law consultation in as little as five minutes.
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