Many complain about drivers looking at their devices or texting when they should have their eyes on the road. However, modern day cars have a variety technological bells and whistles in the dashboard to look at, none larger, more important and distracting than the ubiquitous touch screen used to operate the stereo system, climate control, navigation and other functions in today’s cars.
Unfortunately, Ford manufactured one that was prone to freeze up. This can be safety hazard if one is driving down the street and the defrost will not go on. And while other devices with screens can easily be rebooted, that is not possible in a moving vehicle.
The company used them, knowing they were faulty
While Lemon Law recalls involve the fixing of poorly designed part sold in cars, Ford fought lawsuits involving the Microsoft touchscreen in its vehicles between 2010 and 2013 for several years. The company finally settled a class action lawsuit in June of 2018 to avoid civil penalties worth up to $300 million if the company lost the jury trial. Consumers in California and six other states who bought vehicles with My Ford Touch or My Lincoln Touch before August 9, 2013 could get back money or a discount on a new model. The pay scale is as follows:
- If you owned a vehicle with a faulty screen: $35
- If you tried at least one software upgrade: $100-$200
- If you tried multiple times to have the problem fixed: The sum could be much larger
The company has also directed dealerships to provide free software upgrades and free software-based repairs for a year.
Consumers deserve to have cars that work
Motor vehicles like cars or trucks are likely to be major expense for most American adults, second in price to home ownership. With the amount of money involved in purchasing and maintaining a vehicle, we expect them to work properly. Manufacturers selling faulty products should always be held accountable, but particularly in cases of an expensive vehicle where there is also potential for injury or death. As with this case, attorneys with experience with the Lemon Law or defective motor vehicles can often be helpful when manufacturers and their service centers do not live up to their end of the bargain.