Are you owed a refund or compensation?
Ford drivers frustrated with their cars shaking, jerking, and lagging may be eligible for a refund or replacement under a redress program that ends the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) federal litigation against the company.
But the reparation program is only suitable for a fraction of the 70,000 customers who bought the affected cars, so the vast majority have the option to seek a class action lawsuit from Bannister Law.
The program comes after federal court awarded Ford a $ 10 million fine for failing to comply with the refund and replacement rights set out in Australian Consumer Law.
Who is eligible for a replacement car or a refund?
Individuals who purchased a Ford Fiesta, Focus, or EcoSport equipped with the company’s defective PowerShift transmission (PST) may be eligible for a replacement vehicle or a refund. Under an enforceable obligation accepted by the ACCC, the decision will be left to an independent arbitrator appointed by Ford.
Ford has been selling the defective gearbox models since 2011, but the program only includes cars purchased between May 2015 and February 2016.
Approximately 10,500 customers bought one of the defective cars during that period, although they are only eligible if Ford denies them a free refund or replacement.
According to the ACCC, at least 2,000 customers are entitled to one of these remedies – a far cry from the 70,000 customers who have bought a car with a defective transmission since 2011.
What did Ford do wrong?
Fords equipped with the PowerShift transmissions trembled, jerked, made loud noises, and lagged behind in acceleration. The company knew it was a pervasive problem but continued to refuse refunds and replacements and instead decided to blame people’s driving style.
ACCC estimates that at least half of the 70,000 PST vehicles sold since 2011 have had at least one transmission-related repair.
And in hundreds of cases alleged by the ACCC, Ford has urged heavily armed consumers to pay an extra $ 7,000 to upgrade their car to a new one under its “Property Loyalty Program” if they are eligible for a free replacement or one Refund would have. It is estimated that the company made more than $ 6.5 million in the nine months that the loyalty program ran.