Ford Motor Co. is also having to face claims by nine classes that it sold vehicles with faulty touchscreen systems that failed often, leaving drivers without safety functions such as rearview cameras and functioning navigation systems. U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen certified nine different classes of Ford owners. These are divided by state: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Each of the classes has its own set of claims related to breach of warranty, unfair trade practices, fraudulent concealment and other allegations.
Judge Chen refused to certify classes in Arizona, Iowa and New York, finding that state laws and policies didn’t warrant hearing those claims as a group. The judge said that New York law does not permit a presumption that people in the class relied on misrepresentations from Ford when making their purchase decisions. Judge Chen wrote:
Determining reliance would entail a high individualized inquiry. Certification would thus be inappropriate even if the court presumed classwide exposure.
The Ford owners allege in a series of suits filed in 2013, and eventually grouped together, that the MyFord Touch infotainment touchscreen systems often crash or freeze while the vehicle is in motion. The systems, introduced by Ford in 2010, promised consumers the ability to operate audio controls, use a navigation system, make phone calls, manage climate systems and play music from their smartphones. However, the systems have run into a litany of problems. In 2012, the company reported some 400 problems for every 1,000 vehicles, which was an improvement from earlier numbers. It appears the systems add about $1,000 to the cost of a Ford vehicle.
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