Ford Lawyers Say “No Dispute” that some Shelby Mustang GT350 Racecars were Intentionally Built Without Track Capabilities as Class Action Heads to Trial
MIAMI – Lawyers defending Ford in a class-action lawsuit regarding a defect affecting Shelby Mustang GT350 “track-ready” models told the court that there is “no dispute” that the Mustangs in question suffer from a known design issue rendering them unable to handle typical track driving conditions without prematurely overheating, according to Hagens Berman.
Ford’s attorneys also disclosed that after learning of the overheating issue, Ford intentionally re-programmed the affected Mustangs to “limit performance” when the overheating occurs, according to court documents.
Hagens Berman attorneys continue to represent the claims of Shelby GT350 owners who say Ford knowingly sold models that, while marketed as “track-ready,” were actually reprogrammed to “limit performance” for a known overheating issue in the powertrain design. But in a 2022 hearing, attorneys say Ford’s defense admitted just that. Ford’s defense also requested the court to delay the case’s June 2022 trial date.
According to the lawsuit originally filed Mar. 22, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, after spending a significant premium to own a piece of racing history, Shelby Mustang drivers soon learned that once on the track, their “track-ready” Base models and Technology Package models lose speed and power mid-drive, without warning, in as little as 15 minutes.
At the hearing, attorney for Ford, John Thomas, stated, “There is no dispute that these vehicles lacked the coolers that were in the track pack and in the R models,” adding “There is no debate that because these vehicles lacked coolers -- under some typical track day sessions, they can indeed go into power train protection mode, which the Plaintiffs call limp mode. Because of the generation of heat, to protect the transmission and the differential from damage, the power train protection mode limits the -- the performance of vehicles in some respects.”
“These vehicles can go into limp mode -- what he calls limp mode -- in these types of events. None of that is disputed.”
Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing the Shelby owners, said, “We see this as a plain admission that Ford has refused to fix what they now admit was a deliberate design issue. Track enthusiasts purchased these cars with the express desire of living out their hobbyist dreams on their local racetracks, and Ford’s powertrain design has made those dreams impossible to achieve.”
Limping to Trial
On top of Ford’s defense statements is a push from the automaker to delay the class action’s scheduled June 2022 trial indefinitely. On Mar. 17, 2022, attorneys representing the car owners opposed Ford’s efforts, arguing that the court should deny Ford’s request to delay the case and acknowledging that plaintiffs are prepared to move forward and request the opportunity to do so.
“Left to its own devices, we believe Ford would allow this case to progress as slowly as its defective track cars,” Berman said. “We think Shelby owners have waited long enough.”
Attorneys for the Shelby owners wrote to the court, “This case has been pending for five years and Ford now moves to prolong it indefinitely.”
The court has since denied Ford’s motion to delay the trial date, and the parties will be going to trial as scheduled on June 21, 2022.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for a class of consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief for Ford’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles.
If you own or lease a 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang Base model or Technology Package model, you may be entitled to compensation for this defect that inhibits your car’s performance. Contact Hagens Berman to find out more about this issue and your consumer rights against Ford.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman is a global plaintiffs’ rights complex litigation law firm with a tenacious drive for achieving real results for those harmed by corporate negligence and fraud. Since its founding in 1993, the firm’s determination has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
About Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen
Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen is a team of award-winning trial attorneys devoted to helping individuals and businesses damaged by other’s negligence or misconduct seek the justice to which they are entitled. From its four offices throughout Florida, the firm is focused on the catastrophically injured and high-stakes litigation in state and federal courts in Florida and around the nation covering multiple areas of trial law, including medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death and complex litigation cases. Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen is extremely selective about who it chooses to represent because the firm is dedicated to ensuring clients receive the personal attention they deserve during their representation. For nearly 30 years, Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen has achieved a record of jury verdicts and settlements for its clients totaling more than one billion dollars and has been recognized with multiple national and regional awards, such as the LawDragon 500 Leading Attorneys in America, the Perry Nichols Award, Florida Trend’s Legal Elite and Top Attorneys in Florida. To learn more about Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, visit www.grossmanroth.com or call 888-296-1681.