Judge denies Ford's request to dismiss class action over allegedly defective door latches

By Takesha Thomas | Nov 9, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — A California court has denied a request from the Ford Motor Company to dismiss parts of an amended complaint in a class-action lawsuit over allegedly defective door latches.

On Oct. 26, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen denied two requests and partially granted one request from Ford involving an amended claim from a class-action suit initially filed by David Baranco in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Judge Chen declined to dismiss an implied warranty claim as well as a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. He granted, in part, a third motion for dismissal related to the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.

The class-action suit stems from an initial claim alleging that Ford "manufactured vehicles with defective door latch mechanisms." The lawsuit claims that the defective door latches cause sensors to falsely indicate that a door is open, posing a variety of safety risks. The allegedly affected vehicles are 2011-2016 Ford Edges, 2012-2014 Ford Flexes, 2013-2014 Ford Explorers, 2011-2013 Lincoln MKXs and 2013 Lincoln MKTs, the suit contends.

The class action contends that the defect is "inherent to the vehicles in question," and that it can cause the continued illumination of interior lights, draining the battery and potentially stranding vehicle occupants.

The class-action litigants claim that Ford knew about the defect and issued a letter to dealerships acknowledging the problem and providing a temporarily fix for the defect. The class-action litigants claim that more than 2,670 people have reported false door ajar problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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