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Michigan Federal Court Approves Settlement for Vehicle Owners in Ford Motor Co. Exhaust Fumes Consumer Litigation

January 10, 2022

On December 30, 2021, U.S. District Judge Terrence G. Berg of the Eastern District of Michigan approved the parties’ settlement in Persad, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 2:17-cv-12599-TGB-MKM (E.D.Mich.), a class action concerning an alleged automotive defect, which was originally filed in 2017.  

The class action complaint, filed by Suresh Persad, Robert Drummond, and Daniel Wright against Ford Motor Co., alleged that the retail versions of 2016 and 2017 Ford Explorers contained a defect that allowed the intrusion and accumulation of exhaust fumes, including carbon monoxide, in the passenger compartment of the vehicles while in use. The complaint alleged claims for breach of express warranty, breach of the implied warranty, unjust enrichment, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, on behalf of Plaintiffs and the owners and lessees of 2016 and 2017 Ford Explorers. KTMC prosecuted the claims against Ford Motor Co. for over three years, successfully overcoming Ford’s motion to dismiss, engaging in extensive fact and expert discovery, and briefing and arguing class certification. 

The Settlement provides immediate relief to a nationwide class of vehicle owners, providing notice of the availability of several repairs to address the alleged exhaust fume defect. The primary repair is being provided free of charge until July 31, 2022, but additional repairs are available where vehicle owners have additional concerns. Further, under the Settlement, class members who paid out of pocket costs for certain repairs may be eligible for a partial reimbursement.  

The Kessler Topaz team representing the consumer class included Joseph Meltzer, Ethan Barlieb, and Jonathan Neumann.