You knew it had to happen, sooner or later. What, you may ask? Well, how about a class-action lawsuit over “the wobble of death” that affects some pickups including the Ford F150 and Ford Super Duty lines, as well as those from other carmakers. Torque News covered this issue some weeks ago in an analysis of the "wobble of death." It has occurred many times to many drivers, and it usually boils down to a problem with the suspension or parts of the suspension.
The Symptoms Remain the Same
The symptoms are usually the same, a complementary body vibration sets up a shimmy in the front end which then takes off on its own, and it gets worse. Studies of the vehicles’ suspensions and parts usually reveal heavy wear and tear to items like tie rod ends; bad bushings; bad control arms, and the like. It also includes worn shocks.
So, now, a new class-action suit has begun against Ford. The lawsuit claims that the Super Duty pickups “are equipped with defective suspension components and steering linkages,” reports the Ford Authority. These problems, in turn, cause the vehicles to vibrate and shake in “what the lawsuit has dubbed a ‘death wobble.’”
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The lawsuit covers vehicles built from 2005 to 2019. It includes current and former truck owners, as well as lessees. The pickups covered include the F250 and F350 Super Duties.
The plaintiff in this suit is from California. He said that his truck shook and wobbled, while it was still under warranty. The plaintiff further claimed that Ford failed to repair the truck, which left the owner a bill of more than $1,500. (Torque News believes this claim is a bit far-fetched as if the truck were still under warranty, there would be no cost for the repairs no matter how many times the truck shook and no matter how bad the shake was. The dealership is on the hook to make good, if, as is maintained, the vehicle is still under warranty.)
Class-Action Suit Cites Several Culprits
The class action has several culprits. It points to premature wear in the:
- Damper brackets
- Control arms
- Ball joints
The suit goes on to allege that safety regulators have received a list of previous complaints relating to the condition. It further states that there are 12 more reports which point to injuries caused by crashes that resulted from the “wobble of death.”
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the suit, Lessin, et al. v Ford Motor Co., et al., was recently argued in front of a judge.
Ford Answers Complaints Quite Clearly
In its answer to the suit, the automaker points to poor maintenance as the cause of the issue. As it filed a motion to dismiss the action, Ford noted said that the plaintiff couldn’t back up the claims made. Further, the automaker pointed out that the plaintiff couldn’t make claims outside of California due to conflicts with state laws.
In an ironic point, Ford also pointed out filed the plaintiff filed his suit five years after the warranty ended. Further the automaker said, he drove the truck for eight years before seeking help. Ford maintained that since the Super Duty was working so long after the warranty period had ended it proved the vehicle was working as it intended, at all times.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer/columnist/editor/professional for more than 45 years. He began writing a weekly column “You Auto Know” in 1971 and continued writing it for 32 years. Now, semi-retired, Marc spends his time finding pieces for Torque News as the Volkswagen – and subsidiary – reporter, as well as pieces on pickups and SUVs. He has also been known to write a race report or two. Also, he covers more generalized auto news pieces as well. Marc has also written for the Examiner.com, Fixya.com, Gearheads.org and others, including some smallish publications -- Popular Mechanics, Mechanics Illustrated, AutoWeek, Automotive News, and Automotive Age. You can follow Marc on Facebook and Twitter.