Three owners of the Mustang Mach-E have filed a federal lawsuit against the Ford Motor Co. alleging that the company knew about a design flaw in the 2021-2022 model Mustangs that could cause the cars to suddenly lose power while in motion — a condition that cuts off electronic systems like power steering and ABS — and, maybe worse, that the company hasn’t yet been able to solve the problem.
“Companies go through recalls all the time,” Aashish Desai, an attorney at the Desai Law Firm in Costa Mesa, California, told the Detroit Free Press. “But when you have damages that affect a safety issue and the company doesn’t appear to have a solution, then you get into a problem that nobody wants to drive around a car that may stop working while they’re driving,” he said. “I’m shocked they still have these cars out on the road.”
It’s worth noting, here, that Ford did issue a recall for some 50,000 Mach-E cars after issuing a stop sale order in June. The lawsuit, which follows from a similar issue (if not the same issue) was filed earlier this month in US District Court in the Eastern District of California, talks about the Mach-E having, “a uniformly designed defective high voltage battery main contactor that could overheat, thereby immobilizing the vehicle or making it lose power during operation. The contactors on these vehicles are prone to fail during ordinary and foreseeable driving situations.”
The suit continues to say that Ford should have disclosed to its customers these defects at the time or purchase, on the grounds that the information might have caused customers to reconsider their purchase or lease of a Mach-E. The suit alleges that Ford intentionally misled consumers with a “deceptive omission” in order to make customers believe the vehicles were safe.
Ford told Federal regulators says that it had received 286 customer warranty claims related to an open or welded contactor between July 13, 2021, and May 31, 2022, but that it was unaware of any accident or injury related to this issue.
Lots of Recalls
Ford seems like it’s been cursed by the recall gods in recent weeks. According to NHTSA website, Mach-E recalls have ranged from issues with unintended acceleration that affected less than 500 vehicles to loose subframe bolts and inadequate bonding for a few thousand of the car’s glass panel roofs (which, as I’ve complained before, don’t do an awesome job insulating against noise and can’t be “closed”).
The problems don’t seem to be isolated to the company’s “Model E” electric car division, either! Earlier this month, Ford advised more than 200,000 owners of internal combustion powered Ford SUVs to park their cars away from buildings and homes, and issued recalls for defects that could cause fires, even when the vehicle is off.
Said Deep, a spokesperson for Ford, said the company is planning to roll out an OTA fix as soon as this month. How, exactly, a software update is expected to fix what many believe to be mechanical failure remains to be seen, but Deep insists that the software update is meant to protect the physical contactors, and reiterated that to any customers experiencing this issue that their warranty will cover any necessary hardware replacements.
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