— A Ford Shelby GT350 lawsuit will move forward based on claims the Mustangs overheat and go into "limp mode" without warning, even while trying to run on racetracks. Once in limp mode, the Mustangs quickly decelerate without warning, creating confusion among all drivers on the road.
The plaintiffs say the GT350s are specifically advertised as ready for track driving, with Ford holding marketing events at racetracks.
The class-action lawsuit includes only the 2016 model which Ford advertised as “race-tuned” and “powered by a 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 . . . to propel you into the winner’s circle.” However, those claims don't hold water with 22 Shelby GT350 plaintiffs from 11 states who filed the lawsuit.
Ford sold the 2016 Shelby GT350 with three trim levels: Base, Track Package and Technology Package, but the class-action lawsuit does not include cars with the Track Package.
The plaintiffs claim that while Ford was advertising the Shelby Mustang as a "thoroughbred capable of tackling the world’s most challenging roads and racetracks," the cars were overheating both on closed tracks and during normal highway driving.
According to the lawsuit, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Base and Technology cars are not equipped with transmission or differential coolers to prevent the cars from overheating. The plaintiffs also claim there are no temperature sensors on the dashboards to monitor or adjust the temperatures of the transmissions and differentials.
Drivers also allege there are defects in the powertrain systems because the extreme temperatures cause damage to the transmissions and clutches. Whether on a public road or racetrack, the plaintiffs say the defects make the Mustangs dangerous to drive.
Ford allegedly knew the 2016 Mustangs overheated because later models all included rear differential and transmission coolers. Court documents say 2017 Shelby GT350s cost $3,000 more than 2016 models because of the addition of transmission and differential coolers.
Ford was successful in getting the first version of the Mustang lawsuit dismissed. The judge allowed the plaintiffs to amend the lawsuit and Ford again filed a motion to dismiss, but this time only seven out of 59 claims were dismissed.
Judge Federico A. Moreno saw problems with some of the plaintiffs buying their cars from Ford dealerships and not from Ford directly, blocking implied warranty claims for plaintiffs from Florida, New York, Oregon and Washington.
Many of the claims were allowed to proceed based on the early stage of the proposed class-action lawsuit, including express warranty claims under Florida law. Based on that ruling, Ford was also denied its motion to dismiss unjust enrichment claims.
“Because unjust enrichment is available only when there is no adequate remedy at law, and the court has declined to dismiss the express warranty claims at the motion to dismiss stage, the court will determine at a later time whether plaintiffs' remedy at law is adequate. Accordingly, because the issue of whether the express warranty applies in this case is still in dispute, Ford's motion is denied as to the unjust enrichment claims.”
The judge gave Ford until August 10, 2018, to respond to the denial of its motion to dismiss.
The Ford Shelby GT350 lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida - Tershakovec, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.