Ford Settles in Class Action Lawsuit Over Popular Models

Cars that grind, lurch, stutter and sometimes stop in the face of oncoming traffic: over the last six years, owners of a best-selling cars in the U.S. shared their concerns about what some called a safety defect. Today, thousands who are affected get answers.

Owners of the 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta and 2012-2016 Ford Focus may be eligible for a class action settlement with Ford. As NBC5 Investigates first reported in 2015, hundreds of drivers nationwide reported problems with the transmission in their cars, some saying they no longer felt safe to drive. Many expressed frustration that Ford offered no recall or remedy to fix the issue, despite growing complaints.

Now, Ford reached a settlement agreement with members of a class action lawsuit, though the carmaker admitted no wrongdoing and denied all the allegations in the suit- including that it intentionally sold a malfunctioning transmission in hundreds of thousands of cars.

Are the terms of the settlement a good deal for affected drivers? Not according to Chicago Lemon Law attorney Greg Moss, who has filed more than 100 lawsuits on behalf of Focus and Fiesta owners.

“I really hope people take the time to look into other options because cars are the second-most expensive investment outside of your home and there’s no reason to accept less than what your maximum compensation should be,” Moss said.

Moss says Ford has quietly settled hundreds of private lawsuits involving the cars, paying out more money than is being offered in the class settlement.

For its part, the carmaker told NBC5 Investigates:

“Ford is committed to providing our customers with top-quality vehicles. Ford denies all allegations in this lawsuit, but rather than continuing with the litigation, has decided to settle the case and to provide additional assistance to members of the settlement class. We cannot comment further on pending litigation.”

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