Today two law firms filed a class-action suit against Ford Motor Company challenging its claim that the 2016 Shelby GT350 is “track-ready.” The suit accuses the company of fraud and breach of warranty claims related to GT350s going into limp mode on the racetrack due to elevated transmission and rearend temperatures.
“When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said. “We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its ‘track-ready’ marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hot rod consumers paid for.”
Interestingly, the suit specifies in the 2016 Shelby GT350s with base and Tech Pack configurations that aren’t equipped with the additional transmission and rearend coolers included with the Track Pack option. (These were later made standard on the 2017 models.) However, it seems to ignore the limited run of GT350s built in the 2015 model year. In any event, it does focus on Ford marketing the 2016 cars as ‘Track Ready.”
“Shelby owners sought these vehicles specifically because they appreciate fast cars and the legacy of the Mustang, and wanted to own a piece of racing history – to live the dream of being able to own a car that could be used for everyday driving and also had the power and performance for the racetrack,” Stuart Grossman, founder and partner at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, said. “What Ford sold them was nothing of the sort.”
The lawsuit cites reams of references from Ford brochures and press kits. Additionally it quotes numerous posts from online forums, such as FordShelbyGT350Forum.com, and correspondence from Ford customer service reps. You can view the full case file here.
Now, we aren’t sure how many of these highly collectible machines are actually seeing the racetrack, but plaintiffs Herbert Alley, Jacques Rimokh and George and Diana Tershakovec apparently had vehicles that “suffered from defects, which has caused him out-of-pocket loss associated with the ‘Track-Ready’ powertrain defect, attempted and future attempted repairs, and diminished value of the vehicle,” according to the suit.
Being that this is a class-action suit, the law firm is, as you might expect, recruiting additional plaintiffs right here.