On March 22, 2022, Judge Gerschwin A. Drain for the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan appointed Victoria S. Nugent to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee of Baus, et al. v. Ford Motor Company. On June 22, 2022, Plaintiffs filed a second amended class action complaint.
Plaintiffs allege that Ford Motor Company’s Ford F-150 pickup trucks, Model Years 2018-2020 equipped with 5.0L engines were not “Built Ford Tough” as advertised. Instead, the engines consumed oil at an excessive rate, requiring extraordinary efforts to maintain engine oil at proper levels, causing premature wear-and-tear on the engine, and damaging the vehicles’ combustion and exhaust systems. A vehicle owners’ faultless failure to maintain engine oil at proper levels, moreover, could present serious safety risks including stalling and even engine failure while in operation. Plaintiffs also claim that Ford knew, or should have known, about this issue before the engines went into production.
Plaintiffs bring this consumer protection lawsuit under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act and the consumer fraud statutes of their respective states, and also seek recovery for Ford’s breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment.
Plaintiffs purchased or leased Ford F-150 pickup trucks, beginning with Model Year 2018, that were equipped with 5.0L engines. Ford designed, manufactured, marketed, and warranted the Class Vehicles.
Ford introduced the marketing campaign “Built Ford Tough” almost 40 years ago; it is an indelible part of the Ford brand. Ford markets its F-150 trucks as “strong,” “rugged,” “durable,” and “tough.” Ford touts the F-150’s “best-in-class towing,” and states that the F-150 is a real “workhouse” that will prove itself “year after punishing year.”
Plaintiffs allege that Ford F-150 pickup trucks in question all suffer from a defect that renders these vehicles substantially less durable and dependable than Ford advertises. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the F-150 pickup trucks consume engine oil at an excessive rate, far beyond what a reasonable consumer would expect based on Ford’s own representations. As a result, the engine is not capable of maintaining the proper level of engine oil based on the care and maintenance instructions set forth in the Owner’s Manual.
Excessive oil consumption is a serious issue for vehicle longevity and safety. Left unaddressed, low oil levels can also lead to unexpected engine stalling and even engine failure. Stalling and failure can occur while the F-150 pickup trucks are in operation, at any time, and under any driving condition or speed.
This increases the risk of an accident and injury to everyone on the road. To avoid these negative outcomes, owners of the F-150 pickup trucks must take on an unexpected burden: checking and filling their engine’s oil much more frequently than a reasonable consumer would expect.
Plaintiffs further allege that Ford has known about the excessive oil consumption of the F-150 pickup trucks for years. Ford has had access to the numerous complaints it has received, information from dealers, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) complaints, and its own internal warranty and service records describing the excessive oil consumption problem.
Notwithstanding all these sources of information, Ford did not disclose to consumers that the F-150 pick up trucks were predisposed to an excessively high rate of engine oil consumption. Ford has yet to recall the F-150 pickup trucks to repair the Oil Consumption Defect. Nor has Ford offered its customers a suitable repair or replacement or offered to reimburse its customers who have incurred out-of-pocket expenses or repair or mitigate the effects of the defect.
When owners of the Class Vehicles have asked Ford (or Ford’s agents) to honor its warranty and address the Oil Consumption Defect and any resultant damage at no expense, Ford does not adequately repair the Class Vehicles. Instead, Ford either ignores the defect until it causes significant mechanical problems necessitating costly repairs or, worse, provides oil servicing or makes mechanical adjustments that mask and even exacerbate, but do not fix, the Oil Consumption Defect.
As a result of Ford’s unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices, owners and/or lessees of the Class Vehicles, including Plaintiffs, have suffered an ascertainable loss of money and/or property and/or loss in value.
Baus, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, Case. No. 2:21-cv-10024-GAD-EAS, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan