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Court Denies Ford Summary Judgment, Permits Spark Plug And 3-Valve Engine Claims to Proceed

Goldenberg Schneider, as Co-Lead Counsel, is prosecuting a nationwide product defect class action against Ford Motor Company.  At issue are more than two million vehicles sold or leased nationwide by Ford with three-valve engines that contain defective spark plugs and related engine defects.  These vehicles include the following Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury brand models:  2005-2008 Ford Mustang; 2004-2008 Ford F-150; 2005-2008 Ford Expedition; 2005 Ford F-Super Duty; 2006-2008 Ford Explorer; F-53 Motorhome Chassis; 2007-2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac; 2005-2008 Lincoln Navigator; 2006-2008 Lincoln Mark LT; and 2006-2008 Mercury Mountaineer.  The spark plugs of each of these vehicles have an unconventional multi-piece design that is susceptible to breakage during removal.  The longer the defective plugs remain in a vehicle — and Ford’s recommended maintenance schedule calls for spark plug replacement no sooner than 100,000 miles —the more difficult it becomes to remove the plugs.  As a result, when an owner or mechanic attempts to remove a defective spark plug, it will often break off leaving part of the plug in the cylinder.  Removal of the plug remnants imposes substantial additional costs (often exceeding several thousand dollars) on the vehicle owner.

In a sweeping decision dated July 30, 2014, Judge Benita Y. Pearson of the United District Court for the Northern District of Ohio denied Ford’s motion for summary judgment as to the majority of the Plaintiffs’ claims.  The court’s decision is a very positive step forward in this litigation.  Ford has since filed a motion requesting the Court to reconsider portions of its decision, which is currently pending before the court.

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