Ford faces lawsuit over alleged shattering sunroofs

By Michelle de Leon | Dec 31, 2016

SACRAMENTO – A class-action lawsuit was filed against Ford Motor Co. following the complaints from consumers that the sunroofs of some of the vehicle models have reported defects.

SACRAMENTO – A class-action lawsuit was filed against Ford Motor Co. following the complaints from consumers that the sunroofs of some of the vehicle models have reported defects.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California received a complaint against Ford which stated that at least 70 Ford vehicle owners have complained of the defective sunroofs. According to the court documents, approximately 80 of the panoramic sunroofs issued by Ford allegedly have shattered suddenly. The incidents were also submitted to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

“NHTSA was informed of this problem in Ford vehicles as early as 2008,” the lawyers said in the complaint, according to GlassBytes. “At least five NHTSA complaints in 2008 were related to panoramic sunroofs shattering in the Ford Edge.”

One of the most pressing concerns brought forward by the lawsuit, Douglas Krebsbach, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, is the safety risks posed by the shattering sunroofs. The reports submitted to the NHTSA allege that several drivers had been in accidents and near-miss accidents because of the glass exploding. Aside from these incidents, the other vehicle owners claimed to sustain cuts and wounds from the falling glass.

“The shattering events are so powerful that startled drivers compare it to the sound of a gunshot, after which glass fragments rain down upon the occupants of the vehicle, sometimes while driving at highway speeds,” the complainants said in their lawsuit against Ford, according to a news release from law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs aim to earn national and state class certification. They also seek to receive injunctive relief. In addition, the lawyers are fighting to get damages in behalf of their clients as well as other consumers who purchased or rented any vehicle under Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury that also had a sunroof spontaneously shatter.

The documents indicated that one of the reasons Ford’s vehicle models had problems with spontaneously shattering sunroofs is the switch the automaker made in its materials. The disputed vehicles had tempered glass instead of the usual laminated glass the company used in making their panoramic sunroofs. Ford also allegedly used “thinner glass” in the vehicle models.

“We trust that the vehicles we choose to drive will keep us and our families safe from accidents, including those caused by defects that car manufacturers have incorporated into their automobiles. Car manufacturers must be held accountable for defects that contribute to accidents and injury to drivers of their vehicles.” Paul Hanly, the lead counsel for the case and a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy, said via the news release.

“While several other automakers, including Volkswagen and Hyundai, have initiated voluntary recalls on their vehicles experiencing the same sunroof-shattering defect, Ford continues to deny owner and lessor warranty claims, much less to institute a recall of these defective vehicles,” Hanly said.

The following Ford models are named as subjects of the case:

Edge 2007-present

Flex 2009-2016

Focus 2009-2016

Fusion 2010-present

Explorer 2011-2016

F-150 2011-2016

Mustang 2009-2014

Escape 2013-2016

Transit Connect 2014-2106

C-Max 2013-2016

Lincoln MKX 2007-2016

Lincoln MKS 2009-2015

Lincoln MKZ 2013-2016

Lincoln MKT 2010-2016

Mercury Milan 2010-2011

Mercury Montego 2010-2011

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