— A Ford F-150 transmission lawsuit has been dismissed after an Illinois truck owner alleged defects caused 2017-2019 F-150s to hesitate and surge.
According to the transmission class action lawsuit, the plaintiff leased a 2018 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5 EcoBoost equipped with a 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission.
The plaintiff claims Ford knew or should have known the transmissions shift harshly and slip gears, but the automaker chose to conceal the alleged defects to continue selling the trucks. Those alleged defects lead to severe damage which can cause the F-150s to catch fire, allegedly making the trucks too dangerous to drive.
The Ford F-150 transmission lawsuit alleges drivers have constantly complained about their trucks jerking and lunging since the 10R80 transmissions were first installed in the trucks.
The lawsuit also alleges Ford issued several technical service bulletins to dealerships, and F-150 owners have submitted multiple complaints to the government.
Ford dealers were told the F-150 10-speed transmissions “may exhibit harsh/bumpy upshift, downshift and/or engagement concerns,” and the bulletins suggested reprogramming the powertrain control modules.
The TSBs further said the F-150 trucks were “equipped with an adaptive transmission shift strategy which allows the vehicle’s computer to learn the transmission’s unique parameters and improve shift quality. When the adaptive strategy is reset, the computer will begin a re-learning process,” which “may result in firmer than normal upshifts and downshifts for several days.”
But according to the transmission lawsuit, Ford's ideas for a fix failed to prevent the alleged problems.
“Ford refuses to replace or repair the Transmissions and merely states that the abrupt and harsh shifting is normal.” - F-150 transmission lawsuit
Judge Dismisses The Ford F-150 Transmission Lawsuit
Ford filed a motion to dismiss the 10-speed transmission lawsuit, and the judge found Ford's arguments persuasive.
According to the automaker, express and implied warranty claims don't hold up for multiple reasons, including because the F-150 truck owner failed to provide Ford with pre-lawsuit notice of alleged breach of warranties.
The judge agreed and noted how the Illinois Supreme Court requires a plaintiff to “directly notify the seller of the troublesome nature of the transaction or be barred from recovering for a breach of warranty.” This requirement is meant “to encourage pre-suit settlement negotiations.”
Once the warranty claims were dismissed, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim had to be dismissed because, "it is contingent on Plaintiff having a viable state law warranty claim."
The Ford F-150 transmission lawsuit also alleges Ford engaged in deceptive trade practices in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, but the judge dismissed the claim after finding the allegations were too generalized.
According to Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., the generalized allegations fail to specifically describe the misrepresentations on which the plaintiff allegedly relied.
"Defendant does not identify 'the time, place, and content of the misrepresentation,' or 'the method by which the misrepresentation was communicated to the plaintiff.'" - Judge Dow
Ford also argued a claim for unjust enrichment had to go because the plaintiff failed to state a claim under Illinois law. In addition, the automaker said a claim for negligence should be dismissed because the transmission lawsuit didn't allege the plaintiff suffered any non-economic damage.
The judge agreed to dismiss both claims and ruled the F-150 owner didn't allege that he suffered any physical injuries as a result of driving the F-150. The plaintiff also never alleged the transmission caused any damage to property.
The Ford F-150 transmission lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - O'Connor, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiff is represented by Greg Coleman Law, and Wexler Wallace.