Ford is one of the most popular American car brands on the market – but it’s certainly not immune to mistakes. We have seen defects that range from extremely minor to life-and-death situations. Regardless, consumers should not have to suffer any consequences for purchasing Ford lemon cars.
Buyers of defective vehicles need to understand that consumer protection laws are on their side. Lemon law – or the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act – exists across the country, but the details vary based on the state.
California has some of the most consumer-friendly laws for buyers of Ford lemon cars. In this post, we want to explain how the law can help you earn a rightful Ford manufacturer buyback.
Let’s dive in.
What Are the Most Problematic Ford Models?
Ford produces and sells millions of vehicles every year. We see mistakes in the manufacturing process every year. Over the years, we have seen that some Ford models have experienced more problems than others. Here are a handful of the Ford models that have had the most complaints:
- Ford Escape
According to CarComplaints.com, the Ford Escape is a fan favorite for drivers in the United States. As of this writing, there have been 4,170 formal complaints filed. The most severe of these complaints is the transmission.
- Ford Focus
The Ford Focus is an extremely gas-efficient vehicle – but it has been reported that it is no stranger to complaints. There have been 5,017 complaints filed for the Focus (as of this writing). The most common issues involve the interior and its accessories. We’ve also seen problems with the ignition.
- Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 is arguably the most well-known pickup truck on the market. Owners of the F-150 have made 5,323 complaints over 32 model years. The reported common issues with this vehicle are a bit more severe than the others – with the engine being the top concern. There have also been reports of issues with the windows failing to roll up properly.
- Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a beloved SUV – and is one of the most popular vehicles in the country. However, it has more than double the amount of complaints as the other models mentioned – 12,913. We’ve seen many complaints involving transmission failures – as well as issues with the engine.
What Are the Most Common Ford Defects?
The range of Ford lemon cars goes well beyond the list above. We’ve represented consumers with manufacturing defects that affect the brand’s vehicles across the board. Some of the most common issues we’ve seen:
- Engine failures
- Transmission – shaking and jerking
- Dashboard connectivity
- Engine block heater defects
- Oil leaking
- Transmission roll pins
If your vehicle is experiencing problems with these components, you might be eligible for Ford lemon law benefits.
Does Your Vehicle Qualify for Ford Lemon Law?
Now, just because your vehicle is experiencing issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a lemon. The vehicle must meet the state’s lemon law qualifications to be eligible for benefits. Here are the guidelines in the state of California:
- The vehicle is exhibiting one or more defects that substantially impair its use, value, or safety; and
- The defect(s) was reported to the manufacturer while the original warranty was still in effect; and
- The manufacturer has been given a reasonable number of unsuccessful attempts to fix the defect(s) – usually at least two; or
- The vehicle has been out of service for repairs for 30 or more days; and
- The defect(s) was not caused by driver abuse.
California is one of the few states that offers lemon benefits for used vehicles. If your used Ford meets the qualifications above while under a dealer warranty, it can be processed like new under Ford lemon law.
Steps to Seeking a Ford Lemon Law Buyback
Earning fair compensation for Ford lemon cars follows the same process as any other vehicle. As soon as your Ford meets the qualifications of California lemon law, you need to start the process immediately. Auto manufacturers have many tricks and tactics to avoid responsibility for selling defective vehicles – Ford is no exception.
They might try to convince you to take a cash settlement or sort out the issue with the arbitration. Don’t take the bait. Here’s what you need to do.
Contact a Ford Lemon Law Attorney
Hiring an attorney who specializes in Ford lemon law is THE most important thing you can do to earn fair compensation. The attorney you hire is the only party truly on your side. The manufacturer’s primary goal is to minimize the Ford lemon law buyback.
They do this with all kinds of sneaky tricks to delay the process – thinking you’ll just give up and settle. Keep in mind, they know you’ve probably never had a lemon before. Without proper legal assistance, they will take advantage of this at every turn.
A skilled lemon law attorney knows how to counter these tactics and fight for full compensation.
Many people with Ford lemon cars shy away from attorneys due to the fear of high costs. Lemon lawyers work on a contingent fee agreement. This means they only get paid AFTER they win the case. In addition, under the California lemon law, the defendant/manufacturer is required to pay all of the consumers’ attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. Therefore, they do not take a fee out of your Ford lemon law buyback. A good lemon attorney will never demand out-of-pocket fees upfront to take your claim.
In other words, anyone can afford to hire a lemon law attorney.
- Gather All Documentation
Documentation is the most important aspect of building your case. You need to keep all receipts, invoices, and records that relate to the lemon. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Closed repair invoices
- Payment records for the vehicle (down payment, monthly payments made, terms of the loan, remaining balance).
- Official costs related to the lemon (sales tax, registration, etc.)
- Incidental costs (if applicable)
- Towing fees
- Cab fares
- Hotel stays
- All court and legal costs.
Your goal in a Ford lemon law case is to get reimbursed for every dollar you had to spend due to the lemon. Earning the full amount depends solely on the documentation and financial records you have in place.
- File the Claim
Once you have all the proper documentation in order. Your Ford lemon law lawyer will begin the process of filing a claim with the manufacturer. At this point in the process, you don’t have to maintain any contact with the manufacturer – your attorney will manage it from here.
- Get Terms of the Ford Lemon Law Buyback
Ford will likely contest the claim you file – and do everything in its power to avoid liability. Your lemon attorney will validate your claim and negotiate the terms of the buyback.
This step is the most time-consuming part of the process. One of the most common manufacturer tactics is to create delays in hopes you’ll give up and take a low ball settlement. Manufacturers know how inconvenient it is when you don’t have a car. They will use it to their advantage.
A skilled lemon law lawyer will minimize delays and make sure the manufacturer provides a speedy buyback.
- Return Your Defective Ford
Once the Ford lemon law buyback terms have been agreed upon, the next step is to take the defective vehicle back to the manufacturer. If the vehicle is not safe to drive, you can have a tow truck pick it up. This cost should be factored into the buyback amount.
- Get Your Ford Manufacturer Buyback
Once all negotiations have been made and the vehicle has been returned to the manufacturer, it’s time to get your reimbursement. You can then use this money to purchase/lease a new vehicle of your choice. There are no rules as to what you do with the buyback after you receive it.
The Next Step
If you have a defective Ford vehicle, you have options. The most important thing you can do is act quickly. Driving a faulty vehicle puts you and other drivers at risk. It can also put your lemon claim in jeopardy. Hopefully, you’ve never dealt with a defective vehicle before – you may not know what to do.
Don’t feel shy about reaching out to a lemon law lawyer for answers. Most are happy to point you in the right direction – even if you don’t have a claim.
For more information about Ford lemon law – and California lemon law in general – get in touch with the team at Cline APC. Call our office at 888-982-6915, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out a free case evaluation.