The class action lawsuit against Ford is for damages caused by Ford Transit vans equipped with uniform and uniformly defective driveshaft flexible couplings manufactured, distributed, warranted, and sold/leased by Ford Motor Company and/or its related subsidiaries or affiliates (collectively, “Ford”).
The complaint claims that 2015-2017 Ford Transit vans suffer from a serious defect (the “Defect”) that results in the driveshaft flexible coupling (“flex disc”) cracking and ultimately failing, resulting in damage to the Class Vehicles and presenting a significant safety risk to Vehicle occupants.
The flex disc is a type of “universal joint” positioned between the engine (in specific, the transmission) and the driveshaft, and is used to transmit the rotational torque generated by the engine to the driveshaft, which in turn transmits it to the axles and finally the wheels, propelling the Vehicle.
The flex disc is made of flexible rubber material and is designed to allow some angular misalignment while reducing driveline vibration. A triangular flange connecting the flex disc to the transmission is bolted on to one side of the flex disc using three of the holes; a similar triangular flange connecting the flex disc to the driveshaft is bolted on to the other side of the flex disc using the other three holes.
When the flex disc fails, it fails catastrophically. The failure causes the driveshaft violently to tear away from the transmission, which can result in severe damage surrounding Vehicle components, including brake and fuel lines, the transmission, rear end differential, torque converter, evaporation container, and other parts, mangling the driveshaft in the process. The damage to these components contributes to a dangerous loss of Vehicle control, including the loss of brakes and engine power. Further, the forward end of the driveshaft disconnecting from the transmission creates the risk that the driveshaft will “catch” on the ground beneath the Vehicle, violently forcing the driveshaft upwards which can pierce into the passenger cabin and cause the Vehicle to “pole vault,” i.e. catapult the entire Vehicle into the air.
While a Safety Recall was issued June 28, 2017, the complaint alleges that Ford does not have a permanent fix, but rather requires Class Vehicle owners to replace the flex disc “every 30,000 miles” until a permanent remedy becomes available.
As a result of Ford’s alleged misconduct, Plaintiff and Class Members were harmed and suffered actual damages, including that the Class Vehicles contain defective parts, have manifested and continue to manifest the Defect, and Ford has not provided a permanent remedy for this Defect. Furthermore, Plaintiff and Class Members have incurred, and will continue to incur, out-of-pocket unreimbursed costs and expenses relating to the Defect, including replacement parts, repair of other Vehicle systems damaged by the failure of the flex disc, and lost time and business opportunities caused by the time the Vehicles are waiting to be serviced.