Last month, a federal judge ruled Ford was on the hook to pay at least $77.4 million to owners of vehicles equipped with faulty “Powershift” dual-clutch automatic transmissions as part of a class-action lawsuit. Now, according to one of the law firms representing the suit, the first settlement notices are in the mail, meaning that affected Ford owners may be days away from finding out they could be in line for tens of thousands of dollars.
Over two million Americans are believed to have owned one of the vehicles implicated in the suit, which encompasses 2011-2016 Fiesta and 2012-2016 Focus hatchbacks equipped with the automatic transmission. These vehicles’ transmissions are known for rough operation, accelerated wear, and premature failure, the service of which has cost many Americans thousands of dollars. Some Ford dealers have reportedly declined to fix the transmissions under warranty; a denial of service that will also be worth at least a few bucks to Ford owners.
“Don’t leave anything on the table. Almost everybody is entitled to something through this settlement,” said Tarek Zohdy, senior counsel at Capstone Law, one of the suit’s representative firms, to the Detroit Free Press. “All I can do is bring you this opportunity to essentially get justice for yourself. Go file a claim. Go get the money.”
Current or former owners of an affected Fiesta or Focus may receive settlement notices despite not previously filing the arbitration notice necessary to claim compensation. Filing an arbitration notice must be done according to the steps outlined here by October 6 for owners to get a cut of the settlement, which will total at least $77.4 million, and of which at least $47.4 million has already been paid according to legal documents published by Ford Authority.
Payments encompass everything from $20 inconvenience checks cut to owners who were denied service when it would’ve been appropriate, all the way up to complete vehicle buybacks—which may even be available to owners who have since sold their cars. The only way to be sure how much you’ll get (or that you’ll get money for your trouble at all), of course, is to get your arbitration notices in, and the sooner the better.
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