What is the status of ongoing litigation against car manufacturers in the U.S.?
Carbon monoxide carries the dual-risk of being not only one of the most fatal gases to humans, but also one of the most undetectable. Accordingly, several New Jersey plaintiffs have launched a putative class action lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company following the detection of the gas within the vehicle while driving – an allegation the company has vehemently denied publicly, yet allegedly admitted to in private depositions.
The New Jersey class action
was filed in state court in May, 2015, and was removed to the federal court system on July 2, 2015. According to the complaint, the lawsuit involves 2011-2015 Ford Explorers, Edge and MKX models from 2011-2013 with 3.5L and 3.7L TIVCT engines.
Factual allegations against Ford
In a class action, there are generally a handful of plaintiffs chosen as “class representatives” – primarily because their allegations are virtually identical to those of the class as a whole. In this case, two representatives have been elected to spearhead the lawsuit following their noxious experience with at 2014 Ford Explorer. According to the complaint, Stephen Schondel and Linda King-Schondel of Middletown, New Jersey reported to the dealership on several occasions that the inside of the vehicle smelled of exhaust while driving. The dealership not only failed to repair the problem, but did not alert the couple of two prior safety warnings issued by Ford with regard to the possible carbon monoxide problem in select makes and models.
This is not the first carbon monoxide class action faced by Ford, and several other lawsuits are pending in Florida and elsewhere. According to the details of those proceedings, Ford asserts that such a relatively small number of drivers have experienced the problem, that it did not consider it a pressing safety issue. The company also allegedly admitted in a statement to the Better Business Bureau that it was unable to find a remedy for the problem.
These cases predominantly implicate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Warrant Act, also known as the lemon law.
If you are having problems with a new vehicle and are unable to obtain help from the dealership, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney.