A class-action lawsuit alleges that Ford sold F-350s incapable of handling the workloads they advertised. This means the trucks weren’t as valuable as buyers believed them to be. A recall was announced to address the issue, but many owners were left unsatisfied with Ford’s solution. Plantiffs hope the lawsuit will address issues that the recall process did not resolve.
Super Duty trucks recalled for inaccurate labels
In early 2021 Ford announced a recall for nearly 12,000 F-350 pickup trucks. The affected units were assembled in the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant between May 13, 2019, and September 19, 2020. Nearly 10,000 of the trucks were sold in the U.S., with the remainder being sold in Canada.
The recall states that trucks equipped with the 6.7-Liter Powerstroke diesel powertrain were incorrectly labeled. Their payload capacities had been overstated on the tire and loading information label. Inaccurate accessory reserve capacities were printed on safety certification labels, and incorrect weights were listed in the truck camper loading document.
Ford began contacting affected truck owners on March 22. Drivers who suspect their trucks may be affected can search for their VIN with the manufacturer. They can also call Ford Customer Service at 1-866-436-7332 and reference recall number 20S73.
The lawsuit highlights unaddressed Ford F-350 customer concerns
In response to the recall, Ford dealerships were instructed to replace labeling and documentation of affected vehicles. Many found this remedy to be unsatisfactory. A class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco division.
The suit addresses buyer concerns over the value of their trucks. Plaintiff David I. Rathmann claims he and the other 10,000 plus buyers would not have purchased their trucks if they had known they were mislabeled. The lawsuit alleges that Ford did not offer refunds or compensation to buyers who felt they paid too much for too little truck.
Correcting the numbers on labels and documentation technically addresses the issue at face value. It does little to appease buyers who feel like they paid for power they didn’t get. The lawsuit aims to address that issue in the courts.
Why these numbers matter
Weight capacities are clearly labeled on pickup trucks and other vehicles for a reason. They affect the performance and safety of the vehicles they apply to. To sell a mislabeled truck leaves buyers at risk of overloading their vehicle. This could damage any number of systems or cause an accident.
When a truck is carrying too much weight, it can drastically increase the amount of time it takes for that vehicle to stop. This dangerous mislabeling issue could increase the risk of collision if drivers are unable to predict stopping distance. Ford revealed that they are unaware of any accident or injury caused by the labeling issue.
As the class-action lawsuit affirms, the mislabeled F-350 trucks proved more than an inconvenience. The issues addressed by both the recall and this class-action lawsuit are a matter of safety. The lawsuit will determine Ford’s liability and if buyers are entitled to any compensation.