— A Ford shifter bushing recall makes a lawsuit baseless and moot, according to Ford in its motion to dismiss the shifter cable bushing class action lawsuit.
The shifter bushing recall preceding the Ford lawsuit was announced in June 2022 and includes these vehicles.
- 2013-2019 Ford Escape
- 2013-2018 Ford C-Max
- 2013-2016 Ford Fusion
- 2013-2021 Ford Transit Connect
- 2015-2018 Ford Edge
The Ford shifter bushing recall was necessary because of the Hilex Hytrel 4556 shifter cable bushings which could prevent the vehicles from shifting into the intended gears. And a failed bushing could also allow the vehicle to roll away.
When the last shifter cable bushing recall was announced, Ford said it was still trying to determine why the bushings failed, but engineers believed the bushings could be damaged by humidity and heat.
Ford has issued several bushing recalls beginning when the automaker first believed only a few models were affected. The latest bushing recall affects nearly 3 million of the above vehicles equipped with Hilex Hytrel 4556 shifter cable bushings.
According to Ford, the replacement bushings are made of a more sturdy material that uses a heat stabilizer. In addition, dealers have been told to add protective caps over the new shifter cable bushings.
Ford Files Motion to Dismiss Bushing Lawsuit
Plaintiff Sergio Diaz leased his 2017 Escape from a dealer in New York in 2017, and later purchased the vehicle in April 2020. Plaintiff Retha Connors purchased her 2014 Escape in 2017 from a dealer in Missouri.
Ford told the judge the two plaintiffs who filed the nationwide class action lawsuit for more than $5 million never provide any facts to show the shifter cable bushing recall repairs will fail.
By allegedly pleading only a "hypothetical future injury," and the fact neither plaintiff claims their vehicle had any bushing problems, the lawsuit must allegedly be dismissed for a lack of standing.
"Plaintiffs here have, at best, pleaded only a hypothetical future injury. Neither plaintiff alleges to have experienced the shifter bushing failure in their vehicles. And both Plaintiffs are covered by a recall—overseen by NHTSA—that would remedy any alleged deficiency in their shifter bushings, for free. Courts agree that standing cannot be found under circumstances such as these." — Ford
By issuing the shifter bushing recall, Ford argues it has committed to providing a fix to the two plaintiffs and all others affected, and for free.
Ford also argues while the plaintiffs claim the recall repairs won't work, the bushing recall is overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "which is statutorily authorized to audit Ford’s recall and penalize any shortcomings."
The automaker further told the judge the nationwide class action alleges Ford concealed the shifter cable bushing failures which the two plaintiffs assert “significantly diminished the value of [their vehicles].”
Yet the plaintiffs don't allege their bushings failed or that they have suffered an economic loss.
Ford alleges the plaintiffs are not only second-guessing the automaker's shifter bushing fix, but the plaintiffs are also second-guessing NHTSA's oversight of the recall and the repairs.
And despite alleging a nationwide effort to conceal the bushing problem and to "deceive" consumers, Ford says neither plaintiff identifies "any pre-sale communications with Ford or any specific marketing materials that they reviewed or relied upon."
The class action lawsuit also allegedly never claims the plaintiffs had any limitations on their ability to use their vehicles.
The Ford shifter bushing class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Sergio Diaz, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, and Fegan Scott LLC.