A new proposed class action in Michigan federal court alleges that Ford knowingly concealed manufacturing defects in its F-150 vehicles believed to cause an excessively high rate of engine oil consumption, usually manifesting after the vehicle's warranty period has expired.
A trio of Ford owners sued the car manufacturer Wednesday, alleging that their Ford F-150 vehicles guzzle oil "at an abnormally high pace" and that instead of disclosing the defect, Ford fraudulently concealed it from customers because it favored profits over safety and performance.
"The oil consumption defect constitutes a safety issue because it can cause the class vehicles to run out of engine oil and fail, and as such, Ford had a duty to disclose the safety issue to consumers," the complaint says.
The suit brought by vehicle owners David Lyman, Timothy Thuering and Vincent Brady says Ford knew about the supposed oil consumption defect since the car manufacturer is required to test its vehicles, which they say would have exposed the defect.
In their suit, the trio take issue with expenses and inconveniences incurred from constantly monitoring and changing their engine oil levels as a result of the consumption defect.
Thuering's 2018 Ford F-150 vehicle consumed a quart of engine oil for every 1,000 miles driven, according to the suit. Upon assessing the engine's oil consumption, the dealership concluded that Thuering's engine was not leaking. After further queries, the dealership later informed Thuering that the vehicle's oil consumption was considered normal and that guidance from Ford suggested adding an additional quart of oil during each oil change.
The consumers pinpoint the defect to "insufficient piston ring tension," which results in engine oil moving past the vehicle's oil control and piston rings to enter the engine's combustion changer, where the oil is then burned.
"Once in the combustion chamber, oil is burned off rather than returned for further lubrication," the complaint says. "This not only causes a decrease in engine performance but also decreases fuel efficiency, causes carbon deposits to form, and can damage the engine and various ignition and emission components."
According to the complaint, Ford issued at least four technical service bulletins to dealerships related to excessive oil consumption in the vehicles, which provide guidance on how to repair Ford vehicles and respond to customer complaints.
Read the article on Law360.