Plaintiffs have sued Ford to recover damages for an alleged defect in the brake master cylinder in certain 2013-2018 Ford F-150 trucks with a step-bore brake master cylinder, known as the Class Vehicles. The brake master cylinder is the component in the Class Vehicles’ brake system that regulates the flow of brake fluid when the driver applies the brake pedal. Plaintiffs allege that the brake master cylinder in the Class Vehicles are defective and can reduce the Class Vehicles’ ability to brake, which increases the risk of a crash.
Plaintiffs claim that Ford knowingly concealed the alleged defect, including by issuing recalls it knew were ineffective and inadequate. Plaintiffs have filed a class action lawsuit against Ford for common law fraud claims and statutory consumer protection claims arising out of Ford’s conduct. Plaintiffs further claim that they and other owners and lessees of the Class Vehicles have suffered economic damages as a result of the alleged defect. This lawsuit does not involve any claims for personal injuries. For more information about the claims in this lawsuit, please refer to the Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint, available HERE.
Ford denies any wrongdoing, has issued recalls for master cylinders in certain Class Vehicles, which was approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and denies that the other Class Vehicles’ brake master cylinders are defective.
This case is currently pending before Judge Gershwin A. Drain in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The lawsuit is known as Weidman, et al., v. Ford Motor Company, Case No. 2:18-cv-12719-GAD-JJG.
The Court has allowed certain issues in this lawsuit to proceed as a class action (known as “certifying” the class), and has ordered the parties to notify the potential Class members about their rights so they can decide whether they will stay in the Class.
You were identified as a potential Class member through Ford’s records or records from state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs), which show that you may have purchased or leased a Class Vehicle in one of the five states are part of the certified Class (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas).
The Court authorized this notice to inform you of your legal rights and options.
The Court certified the following Class:
All persons who purchased or leased a 2013-2018 Ford F-150 equipped with a Hitachi made step-bore master cylinder not included in Safety Recall 20S31 in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
The cutoff date for the purchase or lease is August 17, 2022.
You are a Class member if you purchased or leased a Class Vehicle in the state of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, or Texas. The Class Vehicles are 2013-2018 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with a Hitachi step-bore master cylinder that was not part of a recall Ford issued in 2020, known as Safety Recall 20S31. The Class Vehicles include the following engine packages Ford offered in the 2013-2018 F-150 trucks: 3.7L TIVCT V6, 5.0L V8, 3.5L GTDI V6, 6.2L V8, 2.7L V6 (if gross vehicle weight is 6,600 pounds or above), 3.3L TIVCT, and 3.0L Diesel V6. The Class Vehicles do not include the following engine packages: 3.5L TIVCT and 2.7L V6 (if gross vehicle weight is below 6,600 pounds).
You can check whether you have a Class Vehicle by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at HERE.
Yes, if you purchased or leased a Class Vehicle in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, or Texas, you are a member of the Class even if you no longer own or lease the vehicle.
If you are still not sure whether you are a member of the Class, you can review documents HERE, or call or write to Class Counsel, at the phone numbers or addresses listed below.
In a class action lawsuit, the people who bring the lawsuit are called “Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives.” They sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims, known as “Class members.” All of the people together are called a “Class.” The company the Class Representatives sue (in this case, Ford Motor Company) is referred to as the “Defendant.”
A class action allows a court to resolve claims or decide common issues for the entire Class without requiring each Class member to file their own separate, individual lawsuit. All of the members of the Class are bound by the result of the class action lawsuit, except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class (as described in Question 12 below).
In this case, the Court has allowed the lawsuit to proceed as a class action to decide the following three issues for everyone in the Class:
- Whether the Class Vehicles’ brake systems are defective;
- Whether Ford possessed pre-sale knowledge of the alleged defect;
- Whether information about the alleged defect that was concealed would have been material to a reasonable buyer.
The Court and a jury will hear the evidence and arguments presented by both sides and will decide who should prevail on each of these three certified questions. Once the certified questions are decided, the Court will determine what additional proceedings, if any, are appropriate.
More information about why the Court certified those issues in this lawsuit as a class action is in the Court’s April 8, 2022 order on class certification, which is available HERE.
The Court has not ruled on the merits of this lawsuit. That will be done through future proceedings in this case. By certifying the Class, the Court is not suggesting that Plaintiffs or Ford will win or lose this case. Plaintiffs must prove their position on the three certified issues described above at trial. Ford will have an opportunity to rebut Plaintiffs’ positions and advance its own positions on these certified questions.
Plaintiffs are asking the Court to find that the Class Vehicles’ master brake cylinder share a common defect and that Ford knew and concealed the defect from Class members and otherwise acted unlawfully. Plaintiffs will ultimately seek an award for damages from Ford, including payment for the money that they overpaid to buy or lease their defective Class Vehicles, costs of repair, legal fees and costs, and other relief sufficient to compensate for Ford’s allegedly unlawful acts. These requests have not been certified for class-wide treatment, however, and will not be addressed at the trial. For more information about the claims in this lawsuit, please refer to the Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint and the Court’s April 8, 2022, order on class certification, available HERE.
This lawsuit is still pending and there is no money available to the Class at this time. The Court or a jury must still decide the three certified questions for the Class described above in Question 6. If Plaintiffs are able to prove those three issues, then the Court will establish additional steps in this case on the other elements of the claims. The Court has not identified the procedure to make those determinations.
Your Rights and Options
You are automatically a Class member if you fall within the definition of the Class set forth in Question 3 above. If you wish to participate in this class action and remain as a Class member, you do not need to do anything at this time.
By staying in the Class, you and all other Class members will be included in whatever outcome is reached for the Class in this case. This includes the possibility of receiving any compensation that may be later available to Class members through a Class settlement, if the Parties were to agree to one.
If you remain in the Class, you will not be able to separately sue Ford about the same issues that the Court or jury will decide for the Class in this case. This means that regardless of the outcome in this case, you and all other Class members will be legally bound by all of the orders and judgments that the Court issues for the Class, and you cannot sue Ford separately to change that result.
If you ask to be excluded (also known as “opting out”) from the Class, you will not participate in this lawsuit or be subject to the outcomes in this case, including any potential Class settlement, but you will retain any legal rights you may currently have to sue Ford about the same legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. If you wish to sue Ford separately for the same claims in this lawsuit, you will need to hire your own attorney or represent yourself and you will be subject to any legal deadlines applicable to those claims.
To exclude yourself from the Class, you must send a letter stating that you want to exclude yourself from the lawsuit to the below address. Your exclusion request must include:
- Your full name
- The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your Class Vehicle
- The following statement to express your desire to be excluded from the Class: “I request to be excluded from the Class in this lawsuit.”
- Your handwritten signature
- Your address, phone number, and email address
You must mail the request letter to the below address and it must be postmarked no later than October 17, 2022.
Ford F-150 Master Brake Cylinder Class Action
P.O. Box 3395
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
If you have questions, you can call the Notice Administrator, toll free at 1-833-681-5520. However, exclusions via telephone or email will not be effective. Exclusions executed by someone besides you on your behalf will not be effective. You must sign the exclusion request with a handwritten signature.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE EXCLUDED: (1) you will NOT be entitled to share in any relief from any settlement or judgment that results from this lawsuit; (2) you will NOT be bound by any judgment or settlement release entered in this lawsuit; and (3) at your own expense, you MAY pursue any claims that you have against Ford by filing a separate lawsuit.
Only request exclusion if you do NOT wish to be part of the Class and do NOT wish to share in any potential issue findings or potential future benefits that might be obtained on behalf of the Class in this lawsuit.
The Attorneys Representing You
The Court has appointed a group of attorneys from The Miller Law Firm; Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis, and Miles; DiCello Levitt and Gutzler; and Lieff Cabraser Heimann Bernstein to represent Plaintiffs and the Class in this litigation. These attorneys are known as “Class Counsel” and they are listed below.
E. Powell Miller
W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III
Adam J. Levitt
Mark P. Chalos
The Court has appointed Class Counsel to represent all members of the Class in this case for purposes of the three issues certified. If you remain in the Class, Class Counsel will continue to work on your behalf to seek the best outcome for the Class. You may make an appearance in the case through another attorney if you choose, with a separate arrangement with that counsel.
If you wish to pursue your own separate lawsuit against Ford for the same claims in this case, you will need to submit a request for exclusion, as described in Question 12. If you do so, you will need to decide whether to hire your own attorney or represent yourself if you choose to pursue any legal action.
If Plaintiffs prevail, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award fees and expenses at the conclusion of the case, which may be paid from Ford or out of a portion of any compensation obtained for the Class through a Class settlement. You will not have to pay out of pocket for any of Class Counsel’s fees and expenses, regardless of the outcome of this case.
The Court has not yet scheduled a trial date to decide who is right in this case.
The trial in this case will address the three certified questions identified above in Question 6. You do not need to attend that trial. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiffs and the Class, and Ford will present its defenses. After the trial, the Court will determine whether additional proceedings are necessary and what they should entail.
Getting More Information
This Notice contains a summary of the relevant Court papers. To view this Notice and other court documents, including the Court’s Order on Class Certification, the Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint, and Defendant’s Answer, visit HERE. Please check the website regularly for updated information regarding the lawsuit. You may also access the Court’s publicly available legal files at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, Michigan.
For further information, please call the Notice Administrator, toll free at 1-833-681-5520. You may also contact Class Counsel by using the contact information below.
|Court-Appointed Class Counsel
|Adam J. Levitt
DICELLO LEVITT GUTZLER LLC
Ten North Dearborn Street, Sixth Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60602
|W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III
BEASLEY, ALLEN, CROW, METHVIN, PORTIS & MILES, P.C.
272 Commerce Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
|E. Powell Miller
THE MILLER LAW FIRM, P.C.
950 West University Drive, Ste. 300
Rochester, Michigan 48226
|Mark P. Chalos
LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN BERNSTEIN, LLP
222 2nd Ave S, Suite 1640
Nashville, Tennessee 37201