Ford Motor Co. failed to halt a would-be nationwide class action over vehicles with panoramic roofs that “spontaneously” shatter.
Plaintiff Jessica Beaty, owner of a 2013 Ford Escape Titanium, can continue her suit on behalf of owners of similarly affected vehicles, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled Jan. 16.
Ford argued Beaty couldn’t represent owners of 16 different models from Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, spanning eight model years, with sunroofs manufactured by different suppliers.
But Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the plaintiff has standing to continue the suit because the alleged sunroof defects are similar across lines, vehicles, model years, and component manufacturer.
Nor could Ford halt a claim under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act alleging it “concealed” the sunroof defect, and knowingly replaced shattered roofs with similarly defective parts.
“There are ample, plausible allegations that Ford knew of and actively failed to disclose the sunroofs’ deficiencies,” the court said in allowing the claim to continue.
Ford scored better on other claims. It convinced the court to halt, for now, those alleging it breached the implied warranty of merchantability, which guarantees an item is fit for its intended purpose, and express warranty, an additional guarantee against defects.
Those claims can be brought again, the court said.
Tens of thousands of Ford vehicles were sold with the alleged defect—inadequately tempered glass in the oversize panoramic sunroof, the suit said.
A similar suit against Ford, also on behalf of a would-be nationwide class, is pending in federal court in Missouri. Other manufacturers, including Volkswagen, Kia, Nissan, BMW, and Hyundai, face similar putative class actions.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys include Simmons Hanly Conroy. Defense attorneys include Alston & Bird.
The case is Beaty v. Ford Motor Co. , W.D. Wash., No. C17-5201RBL, 1/16/18 .
To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Kaufman in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at email@example.com
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)