Ford owners could soon pocket cash from class action suit

Company reaches settlement with Fiesta, Focus owners

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Many Ford car owners could be seeing lots of money coming their way because of a lawsuit against the company.

It seems many owners of Ford Fiestas and Focuses with automatic transmissions have had major problems with their cars for years.

In a class action suit, the company has agreed to a settlement that could mean buying back the car or a cash payment in the thousands. It's still being finalized, so details of the settlement are not available.

The suit involves Focus models from 2012 to 2013 and Fiesta models from 2011 to 2016 with dual clutch automatic transmission.

News4Jax reporter Jim Piggott owns a 2012 Ford Focus and went to find out what owners of cars included in the lawsuit should do.

“Almost from Day 1, I've had problems with the transmission,” Piggott said. “It's been in the shop four times for that.”

Piggott said he has been getting letters from attorneys advising him not to join the class action suit but to sign with them, because they could possibly get him more money.

Tom Stephens of the Better Business Bureau looked over the letters for Piggott and said it's not uncommon to see things like this.

Stephens declined to make any recommendation on behalf of the bureau but said owners should be asking questions before deciding.

“I would do a little research, but I think I would still say the old saying is a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” Stephens said. “You got the bird in the hand here, and you know what you're going to get (with the class action settlement). You don't know what you're going to get if you get an outside attorney and opt out of the settlement.”

Piggott called the attorneys involved in the case, but hasn't heard back from them.

The Ford Motor Company issued a statement Friday:

“Ford continues to deny the allegations in this lawsuit, but rather than continuing with the litigation, has decided to settle the case and to provide additional assistance to members of the settlement class.  We cannot comment further on pending litigation.”

Piggott said he learned that no matter what owners decide, they need to have all of their paperwork in order, including documentation of repair work. Owners who don't have the paperwork can request it from their dealership.

For more information on the settlement and the cars involved, visit http://www.fordtransmissionsettlement.com.

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