Ford Motor Co. is the subject of a class-action lawsuit resulting from alleged defects in the sunroofs of some vehicle models.
A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Ford, Douglas Krebsbach, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, alleges that large glass panoramic sunroofs on some of the automaker’s vehicles have shattered spontaneously.
The complaint alleges “at least 70 owners of vehicles with defective sunroofs … have reported to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) at that at least 80 panoramic sunroofs have shattered.”
The list of owners includes two fleet owners of the Lincoln MKT model who reported multiple incidents in a single report, according to the complaint.
The shattering of the glass is compared to that of a gunshot or a blowout by several drivers cited in the complaint. Most complainants reported hearing a loud, startling sound followed by a shower of glass shards while traveling on roadways. None of those cited in the suit reported anything hitting the glass prior to it exploding.
Ford has been aware of the potential for its sunroofs to shatter for years, the plaintiffs allege in the complaint.
“NHTSA was informed of this problem in Ford vehicles as early as 2008,” attorneys say in the complaint. “At least five NHTSA complaints in 2008 were related to panoramic sunroofs shattering in the Ford Edge.”
The complaint challenges Ford’s practice of using tempered rather than laminated glass in its panoramic sunroofs and that “problems with panoramic sunroofs are compounded by Ford’s use of thinner glass.”
Two pages are devoted to alleging a failure on Ford’s part to warn drivers of the potential risk and alleging that Ford conducted “deceptive warranty practices.”
Ford has not yet responded to the filing of in court.
The suit lists the following models (including hybrid and electric) with factory-installed panoramic sunroofs as subjects of the case:
- Ford Edge 2007-present
- Ford Flex 2009-2016
- Ford Focus 2009-2016
- Ford Fusion 2010-present
- Ford Explorer 2011-2016
- Ford F-150 2011-2016
- Ford Mustang 2009-2014
- Ford Escape 2013-2016
- Ford Transit Connect 2014-2106
- Ford C-Max 2013-2016
- Lincoln MKX 2007-2016
- Lincoln MKS 2009-2015
- Lincoln MKZ 2013-2016
- Lincoln MKT 2010-2016
- Mercury Milan 2010-2011
- Mercury Montego 2010-2011