Ford Motor Co. admits violating Indiana’s Lemon Laws

True or Fake?

In what appears to be an unusual move for a multinational automaker, Ford Motor Company recently admitted that it violated Indiana’s Lemon Laws when it sold a brand new Ford Focus to Benjamin Rubin. Here’s an excerpt from the story.

Three months after buying a brand new Ford Focus, Benjamin Rubin’s car started rattling, grinding and jerking.

After taking it to the shop for repairs 16 times, filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau and Indiana Attorney General, then trying to unsuccessfully send it back to the manufacturer, the Indiana man filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co., in August 2015.

In an unusual move for a car manufacturer, Ford Motor Co. recently admitted to a Marion County judge that it violated Indiana’s Lemon Laws when it sold Rubin the brand new vehicle.

That admission led to a judgment order dated March 10, where Marion Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Carroll vacated the scheduled jury trial that was set to commence on March 14. The judgment awarded Rubin $8,000, but that amount could still grow.

The judgment stems from Rubin’s breach of contract claims under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Indiana Motor Vehicle Protection Act, among others.

The laws provide protection to consumers who purchase products — in this case a vehicle — that don’t meet certain basic standards.

To qualify as a lemon under Indiana law, the car must have a substantial defect covered by the warranty that occurred within a certain period of time or number of miles after purchase of the car, and not be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

But Rubin is not alone. He is one of hundreds of people across the country who have sued Ford for defective Focuses.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received 11 lemon law complaints about the Ford Focus that were sold by a variety of dealerships throughout the state, according to data from the Attorney General’s office provided to IndyStar.

A simple Twitter search of “Ford Focus Lemon” reveals angry and frustrated tweets from people around the country who say they have experienced transmission and other issues with the vehicle. Rubin’s vehicle experienced transmission and engine problems.

Hundreds of complaints related to the Ford Focus have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Complaints registered on safercar.gov describe transmission issues, door latch problems and faulty clutches.

A class-action suit in the Central District of California claims Ford failed to alert customers that its Powershift Transmission in the 2011-15 Fiesta and 2012-15 Focus is defective. The case is ongoing.

Ford’s legal representative was not available to comment Thursday or Friday.

Reported By

Fatima Hussein

Reporting Organization/website

www.indystar.com

Reported On

March 27, 2017

Image by Michael Gil from Calgary, AB, Canada (Ford Focus ST – CIAS 2012) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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