Losing control of a vehicle is one of the worst situations a driver can experience. If they’re in heavy traffic, it can be nearly impossible to avoid colliding with an object or another vehicle. A significant number of Ford truck owners are experiencing events like this and now legal action is being taken against Ford. The act of losing control of a vehicle is being referred to as the “death wobble.”
A significant number of Ford trucks are used by contractors, landscapers, and construction workers. This means that the vehicles are typically hauling equipment, materials, or tools. Because of that, there’s an increased risk of injury and property damage in the event of an accident. When a driver has no control over their vehicle, there’s no way to predict what will happen.
While owners have been complaining about the wobble since 2005, Ford has yet to address the issue in its entirety. While they have informed dealerships of the necessity for repairs when vehicles come in, no further action has been taken. Specifically, the company only instructed dealers to replace the steering damper in 2017-2019 model trucks. That, however, leaves out over a decade of potentially dangerous and defective vehicles. As a result, the class-action lawsuit was filed.
The Death Wobble: A Terrifying Experience
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than 1,200 complaints have been filed in reference to the death wobble. For drivers, the death wobble is when the steering wheel is shaking so hard, that they have no control over the vehicle. The owners of those trucks are starting to come forward to tell about their experience with the death wobble. Ford drivers are posting videos to YouTube, sharing their experiences, and speaking with their local news stations.
Derek Spann, the owner of a 2018 Ford F-250, spoke about his experience with the death wobble with WSB-TV 2 Atlanta. According to Spann, he spent $72,000 on his truck—the main reason for his purchase was safety. However, when he was traveling down I-20 one day with his four grandchildren, the truck began swerving all over the road. He had no control over the vehicle. Fortunately, the incident did not result in an accident, but it was overwhelmingly terrifying for everyone involved.
Spann has taken his truck to a Ford dealership five different times. The vehicle has had a variety of steering components replaced, including the steering rod and two steering stabilizers. Even with those repairs, the wobble returned. He rarely uses the vehicle anymore.
According to Adam Richmond from Southern Off-Road Specialists in Alpharetta, Georgia, the shop has seen so many trucks come with the death wobble that they now have a special inspection process for it. “Every single vehicle has a different combination of parts or pieces that ultimately contribute to or are directly responsible for the death wobble.” There doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all-fix for the trucks that experience this defect. That is due in part to the complicated nature of finding out which steering part is the source of the wobble.
Understanding the Class-Action Against Ford
The class-action lawsuit is alleging Ford concealed and omitted information about suspension problems in 2005-2019 Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks. So far, the lawsuit notes there have been 12 reports that relate accidents and injuries to the death wobble. If the issue isn’t addressed promptly, it’s likely that more Ford truck owners will experience the death wobble for themselves.
Because of the pending litigation, Ford has yet to comment on the matter. Those involved in the class-action are hoping for a national recall and compensation to cover the money spent on repairs, accidents, and injuries.
For those who think they may take part in the class action, it’s important to take the truck to a Ford dealer—even if only to have the problem officially documented. In addition to that, owners should save receipts for any money they’ve spent as a result of the vibration. Because Ford has never issued a recall, owners have spent thousands of dollars in repair costs. Depending on the outcome of the class action, owners may be able to get reimbursed for those expenses.
Overcoming a traffic accident caused by a vehicle safety issue can be challenging. That’s why Thomas Law Offices provides legal representation to victims looking to recover compensation for their losses. If you have questions about a vehicle safety recall or a potentially defective auto part, contact our law firm today.