Shelby GT350 Owners File Class Action Lawsuit Against Ford For Limp Mode Mustangs

Shelby GT350 Owners File Class Action Lawsuit Against Ford For Limp Mode Mustangs

Lawsuits against automakers are nothing new, but when the lawsuit is claiming that a car they build is not capable of performing on the track as promised, that’s something worth paying attention to. Apparently Ford has pissed off way too many Shelby GT350 Mustang owners, as those folks are suing them for Fraud and Breach of Warranty over Ford’s sales of allegedly defective Shelby GT350 Mustangs. They claim that the GT-350 Mustangs, which are marketed as “track ready”, cannot actually be operated safely on a racetrack because they quickly overheat and go into “Limp Mode”.

I attend a lot of road racing, auto cross, and pro-touring style events and have seen a few 2016 GT-350 Mustangs out there racing, and have heard these complaints a few times. With that said, I can also tell you that I’ve heard similar complaints about other makes high performance cars being unable to run on the race track for more than 15-20 minutes, so the Mustang owners may not be alone. What is interesting to me is the challenges that face new car design with regards to cooling. After all, these cars are required to have better and better fuel mileage, which means better and better efficiency and aerodynamics. At the same time, consumers want more and more power which creates more and more heat. Designing a car with limited frontal area, and as little drag inducing grill area as possible, means that a high horsepower engine is going to tax the cooling system for sure. With that said, we know that aftermarket cooling systems have been successfully installed that will keep these suckers cool for hours of on track action.

But it isn’t the engines that are overheating and causing them to go into “Limp Mode”. It’s the transmissions and differentials that are getting so hot as to cause the computers to shut down power and make owners drive slower until the parts cool down. We wonder why Ford stopped equipping the Gt-350 Mustangs with transmission and oil coolers, after all previous models had them as do Chevrolet’s road race models.

So what does this mean for the future of Ford’s Shelby GT-350 models? Well, we’re guessing they have coolers for everything from here on out, if for no other reason than to keep from having this kind of PR nightmare in the future.

Read the information below, as it comes straight from the lawyers, but while you do think about this… Most people know, and it has been made relatively clear, that racing your car in organized speed contests voids warranties, insurance policies, etc. But at the same time, Ford is selling these cars as “racetrack ready” according to the lawsuit. So should they be responsible for fixing these cars and adding coolers? And because they wouldn’t should they have to pay all the people that bought them?

This one could be the topic of plenty of debate.

Read on.

Shelby GT350 Mustang Owners File New Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ford for Fraud and Breach of Warranty Claims Relating to Limp Mode Defect
Class-action lawsuit says owners deserve reparation for Ford knowingly selling so-called “track-ready” cars with defective and dangerous powertrains

MIAMI  Consumers nationwide today sued Ford for knowingly selling allegedly defective Shelby GT350 models that while marketed as “track-ready” cannot actually be operated safely on a racetrack, according to Hagens Berman and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, co-counsel law firms representing the plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuit, after spending a big premium to own a piece of racing history, drivers soon learned that once on the track, their track-ready vehicles can lose speed and power mid-drive, without warning and in as little as 15 minutes.

The firms say that Shelby owners paid high prices for an iconic car named after racecar royalty, Carroll Shelby. Instead of receiving the modern-day epitome of Mustang performance and racetrack-ready power, thousands of owners have been left with pricey vehicles that in no way live up to Ford’s marketing that promised a “track-ready” hotrod, and could put drivers and passengers at risk of crash and injury.

Shelby GT350 owners are being represented by leading auto defect consumer-rights law firm, Hagens Berman, which achieved the then largest automotive settlement in U.S. history – $1.6 billion against Toyota for a concealed defect and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, a nationally recognized trial law firm. Hagens Berman is also leading litigation against General Motors for its ignition switch defects as well as other national lawsuits against Volkswagen and Mercedes for illegal use of emissions-cheating software.

If you own or lease a 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang Base model or Technology Package model, you may be entitled to compensation for this defect that inhibits your car’s performance. Contact Hagens Berman to find out more about this issue and your consumer rights against Ford.

The ability to purchase a track-capable car that could also operate on the street is a key factor in what led purchasers to buy the Shelby GT350 Mustang, according to the suit, but Shelby GT350 Mustangs with the Base Model or Technology Package model can overheat due to defective transmissions and rear differentials that cannot keep cool enough to function at high speeds without external transmission and differential coolers. When this occurs, the vehicles go into Limp Mode, where the vehicle suddenly loses power and rapidly decelerates. As a result, these “track-ready” race cars prove useless on the racetrack and drivers don’t get what they paid for.

The lawsuit, filed Mar. 22, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeks monetary damages for a proposed nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief for Ford’s misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles.

“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,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “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 hotrod consumers paid for.”

“Ford’s only answer to owners has effectively been, ‘pay for a fix on your own dime,'” Berman added.

The complaint states, “Mustang testimonial websites and Ford customer service files are replete with complaints from consumers who reasonably believed that their Class Vehicles would in fact be ‘Track-Ready,’ but have been put at risk of accident on race tracks and during non-track driving when the defective transmissions and rear differentials overheat, causing the cars to go into Limp Mode at drastically reduced speed and performance.”

According to attorneys, Ford engaged in deceptive business practices in violation of several consumer protection statutes when it failed to disclose the defective “track-ready” powertrain system. It instead continued to market Ford vehicles as fully capable of track performance, safe, reliable and high quality.

“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,” said Stuart Grossman, founder and partner at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen. “What Ford sold them was nothing of the sort.”

Plaintiffs also allege that the failure of Ford to properly fix the powertrain defects at no cost is a breach of express warranty.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement and all damages permitted by law for vehicle owners, including diminution in value of the affected Shelby GT350 Mustangs and/or loss of the benefit of the bargain, in an amount to be proven at trial to compensate owners for Ford’s fraud that put drivers at risk. Plaintiffs also seek an order enjoining Ford’s deceptive marketing and sales acts and practices, as well as punitive damages.



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12 thoughts on “Shelby GT350 Owners File Class Action Lawsuit Against Ford For Limp Mode Mustangs

  1. orange65

    Found On Racetrack Dead?

    Just a group of non car people buying the car based on the sales brochure and thinking they can race with the big dogs. This will come down to the definition of “track ready”.

  2. PJ

    I would be very pissed off. I love the GT-350 and if I was able to buy one I would try to beat the wheels off it on the track. Not being able to would be extremely frustrating and disappointing. Of course being a car guy I would turn and immediately install new large coolers to keep the heat out and make the most of track sessions.
    Should Ford have installed them from new? Absolutely. Should a track car have better than stock added if its actually on a track? Absolutely. At the end of the day its a limited production car that I would assume only a handful ever seen real abuse, so the fix from Ford (if they do anything) shouldn’t be to costly or difficult.

  3. Big Sky Dreamer

    Ford has seen all these videos of incapable Mustang drivers leaving car shows and wiping out, tarnishing the lofty Ford name… did they did a Volkswagen deal on Mustang buyers – just a hypothesis but could be true!

  4. Mark

    Funny there is a track package that includes oil, transmission and rear diff coolers. Guess if you want to go to the track you need to order the optional $6500 track package. Maybe the name of the package was to difficult for the buyers to comprehend.

  5. pdub

    That’s interesting, great post-up Chad. All of that’s great to know, just to qualm a fantasy of mine that maybe somebody wanted to take Red off of me. What would it take? A brand new GT-350, trade even, and I’d still hate to see Red going away.

    Now I don’t think so. I’d not heard of all of that going on until reading this.


  6. greg

    What does track ready really mean? I’m sure it doesn’t say it’s capable of completing a race just capable of good track laps. Has anyone bitched about the top speed the car is suppose to do,thats what i would bitch about not running a complete race with a “showroom” car that can run a “few”laps on a track,and what kind of track was FORD talking about,a dragstrip is a track also.So it seems like these people should fix their car for the way they want to “track” it!

  7. Tom P

    I suppose the good news is at least the owners are using them. Aren’t most Hellcats and late model Z28’s stored in hermetically sealed vaults?

  8. AndyB

    it’s a shame there isn’t a GT350R model that takes this into account.

    Oh, wait.

    Nevermind the hellcats for the school run and ZL1’s owned by people who won’t care about them past their idle quality.

    If you want to run hard on the track, the car isn’t the limiting factor. Period.

  9. Ron Burke

    This suit is nonsense. These bozos bought a car, didn’t order the available track package and then whine that the car overheats when driven hard on a road course. Just another case of people being ignorant and being unwilling to take responsibility for the result of their ignorance.

    What may be even worse are commentators who are too lazy to actually read the readily available facts of what actually happened.

    Both groups must be members in good standing of the perpetual victims club.

  10. Chris In Australia

    I’d be suing on the looks alone. To call it ‘homely’ is being very, very kind

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