— A Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator underhood fire recall has caused a lawsuit that alleges Ford should pay damages for selling SUVs at risk of fires even when the ignitions are turned off.
The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator class action lawsuit alleges Ford should have known the vehicles were defective before the SUVs were sold.
In May, a Ford and Lincoln underhood fire recall was announced for nearly 42,000 model year 2021 Ford Expedition and 2021 Lincoln Navigator SUVs that could catch fire.
Ford warned owners to park outside and away from anything flammable until the SUVs are repaired.
When the fire recall was announced Ford said engineers hadn't determined the root cause even though an investigation had been opened in March. Ford knew of at least 16 underhood fires in 2021 Expedition and 2021 Lincoln Navigator SUVs, and 14 of those fires occurred in SUVs operated by rental companies.
According to the May recall, 12 fires happened in Ford vehicles that were shut off and parked.
Ford Underhood Fire Recall Expanded
Then in July, the Ford underhood fire recall was expanded to include more than 66,200 model year 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. By that time Ford knew of at least 21 underhood fires in Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators built July 27, 2020, to August 31, 2021.
Ford also announced it knew how the SUVs would be repaired.
Ford said based on the cooling fan system, some of the SUVs could be repaired immediately while about two-thirds of the vehicles wouldn't be repaired until September 2022.
"For owners unable to park their vehicles outside or away from other structures and property, Ford states the Class Vehicle’s 'negative battery cable should be disconnected and securely positioned to the side.'" — Ford underhood fire lawsuit
But the class action says the procedure includes disconnecting the negative cable from the Expedition or Navigator battery, applying four layers of electrical tape over the end of the negative cable and using a plastic tie strap to secure the cable.
According to the lawsuit, this method pretty much disables the vehicle until the procedure is reversed.
California plaintiff Michael Imhoff purchased a new 2021 Ford Expedition that has allegedly been diminished because of the underhood fires. He says he no longer uses the SUV for the reasons he purchased it, and he is stuck parking further away from his home.
The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator underhood fire class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California: Michael J. Imhoff, v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiff is represented by Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP, and Bailey & Glasser LLP.