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The Downside of Class-Action Lawsuits
Class-action lawsuits are a valuable component of the American legal system, allowing many parties filing numerous claims against a single defendant to aggregate them into a single action. However, a victorious class-action doesn’t always net a very large settlement for clients.
If you own a lemon vehicle, contact Allen Stewart’s team of experienced lemon law attorneys today.
One recent class-action lawsuit, Vargas v. Ford Motor Company, concerned the dual-clutch “PowerShift” transmissions used by 1.5 million vehicles including the 2012-2016 Ford Focus.
The PowerShift transmission uses a dual clutch system. One clutch operates the even numbered gears, while the other clutch operates the odd numbered gears. Both clutches share the same inner transmission shaft. The PowerShift gearbox apparently makes the vehicle lunge, jerk, shudder, and hesitate during acceleration.
Ford issued two customer service programs throughout the years regarding the Powershift transmission, which extended warranty coverage for its input shafts, clutch, software calibration and transmission control module.
Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta consumers had the option of participating in the class-action lawsuit, or pursuing individual cases. Andrew Ross, lemon law attorney with Allen Stewart, P.C., said Texas clients who pursued individual cases with him saw settlement payouts much higher than those who stuck with the class-action.
Ross said five clients settled their Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta cases on August 1, 2018, each receiving settlements ranging from $2,700 to $4,450.
“In the class action, the max cash someone could get was $2,325 in their pocket,” Ross said. “To get that amount, they had to have at least eight repairs to their transmission.”
He said individual claims not only reap more benefits, but require much less extensive documentation.
“It takes a whole lot of effort and verification,” Ross said. “Many people aren’t going to get much money. I can tell you none of the clients had close to eight repairs on their transmission.”
The Texas lemon law requires for “lemon” designation only two repairs for the same problem or defect within the first year or 12,000 miles driven and two additional repairs within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles following the first unsuccessful repair attempt.’
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.
The lemon law attorneys of Allen Stewart, P.C. help their clients use the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and navigate the often-complex legal system to get them the just compensation you deserve. They have decades of experience in taking on big corporations, including auto manufacturers, and won’t back down from a legal fight.