Ford Door Latch Freezing? Lawsuit Settlement Reached

Class action lawsuit alleges cold temperatures cause Ford F-Series door locks to freeze.

Ford Door Latch Freezing? Lawsuit Settlement Reached

Posted in News

— Ford door latch freezing concerns which caused a class action lawsuit will allegedly be taken care of as Ford and the plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement.

The door latch lawsuit includes former and current owners and lessees of these Ford trucks.

  • 2015-2019 Ford-150
  • 2017-2019 Ford F-250
  • 2017-2019 Ford F-350
  • 2017-2019 Ford F-450
  • 2017-2019 Ford F-550

To be included in the class action, the truck must have been built at Ford’s Dearborn Assembly Plant before February 26, 2019, or Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant before March 4, 2019, or Ford’s Kentucky Assembly Plant before March 5, 2019, or Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant before March 11, 2019.

The door latch class action was originally filed in March 2017 for New York owners of Ford F-150 trucks. The beginning of the lawsuit didn't go well for the plaintiff because arguments based on Ford's advertising fell through when the judge dismissed the lawsuit.

However, the plaintiff was allowed to amend one claim to show proof that Ford knew the door latches and locks could freeze in cold weather.

In the first amended lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed cold temperatures caused failures of the door latch to lock or unlock.

According to the lawsuit, Ford issued technical service bulletins (TSBs) describing “inoperative door latches during or after freezing temperatures,” allegedly establishing Ford was aware of the defect but failed to disclose it to "current, former, or potential owners, purchasers, or lessees of these F-150 vehicles."

In addition, the class action also reference door latch recalls and customer satisfaction programs which allegedly prove Ford knew the door latches could freeze.

Ford filed a motion to dismiss the amended lawsuit which was denied by the judge, sending Ford and the plaintiffs to settlement talks based on various F-Series trucks for customers nationwide.

Ford truck customers who paid their own money for door latch repairs can recover their out-of-pocket costs associated with a door latch repair up to $600 total.

According to the door latch proposed settlement, it's possible Ford truck customers may have incurred expenses even if their door latches were repaired for free by Ford. Those expenses include towing or rental car charges paid by the truck owner, expenses that Ford will reimburse up to $400 if the customer provides proof of the costs.

Ford truck owners will also have access to free door latch repairs through October 31, 2028, while customers may receive $10 if they aren't satisfied by the performance of the door latches.

According to the settlement:

"Dissatisfaction with Door Latch Performance includes a Settlement Class Member experiencing at least one instance of door latch failure on their Class Vehicle such that the door does not open, does not close, or opens while driving, or having a concern that their Class Vehicle may in the future experience such door latch failure."

To obtain payment, the Ford customer must file a "timely, adequately documented claim" within 210 days after the date of entry of the preliminary approval order from the judge. Claims will need to be accurate because the settlement administrator has the right to reject any claim without the required information and documentation.

If approved by the judge, lawyers for the plaintiff will receive $1.3 million.

The judge still must decide whether to preliminarily approve the settlement agreement before final approval is granted.

The Ford door latch lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York: Kommer, et al, v. Ford Motor Company.

The plaintiff is represented by Denlea & Carton LLP. has complaints about Ford F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450 and Ford F-550 trucks.