I wrote recently about the Ford F-150 class-action lawsuit over frozen door locks that just recently reached a multi-million dollar settlement. And what was agreed upon in Kommer v. Ford Motor Company means that Ford F-150 and other Ford truck owners could be eligible for $400.
However, on several truck forums and on Reddit, many owners who have dealt with the frozen door lock issue have posted frustrations more than anything. The fact that owners have had their trucks in for repair, under the technical safety bulletin (TSB), but still have trucks that aren’t working properly is adding to the frustration.
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Some owners have noted, as laid out in the settlement, that since they’ve not had to pay any money out of their own pocket, that they likely aren’t eligible for the $400 as established in the lawsuit settlement. When I reached out to Ford for further explanation, they said: "We typically do not comment on pending litigation but we look forward to supporting the settlement once approved by the court."
What Is Entailed In The Repair for Ford’s Frozen Door Lock Issue?
According to a Ford OEM repair website used by certified Ford repair dealers, the issue pertains to water entering the doors in cold temperatures that can cause door latching components to freeze.
The same site went on to note: “If an affected vehicle has exhibited a frozen latch, dealers are to install additional sealing to the front doors and crew cab rear doors, lubricate certain door latch, door handle and cable components, clean the door drain holes, inject windshield wash concentrate or a methyl hydrate (methanol) product into the exterior door handle cables and install a wiper clip on the exterior door handle cable ends. This service must be performed at no charge to the vehicle owner.”
I asked an ASE Certified mechanic what was entailed in the repair and he replied that it appeared to be just over two flat rate hours which makes it a fairly complex repair.
What Repairs Are Done As Part Of The Ford F-150 Class-Action $400 Settlement?
As mentioned it’s up to two billable hours of repairs for all affected vehicles in this TSB. But some dealers are reporting needing extra time for obtaining the proper door latch sealing kit. As part of the TSB, no vehicle rentals are allowed to customers. So this is part of the frustration felt by those customers affected.
Plus several customers mentioned on forums that they’ve had their trucks in multiple times without the proper resolution. As part of the settlement, these customers could be eligible for the additional $10 for lack of satisfaction. But is $10 really worth anyone’s time to file a claim for it?
What vehicles are eligible as part of the Ford F-150 class-action settlement?
One Reddit user questioned whether his Ford Explorer was eligible too. I informed him it was not part of this lawsuit. That user reported similar issues with frozen door locks though on his mid 2000s Explorer.
The vehicles involved in the lawsuit settlement include: 2015-2019 Ford F-150, 2017-2019 Ford F-250, 2018-2019 Ford F-350, 2017-2019 Ford F-450 and 2017-2019 Ford F-550.
The settlement states that only vehicles built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant before February 26, 2019 or at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant before March 4, 2019 were impacted. However, other vehicles built at the Kentucky Assembly Plant before March 5, 2019 or at the Ohio Assembly Plant before March 11, 2019 were added to the final settlement.
Is The F-150 Realy “Built Ford Tough?
While I basically think this entire lawsuit, and agreed upon settlement is overly litigious and frivolous, one aspect of Kommer v. Ford Motor Company that got kicked by the judge was the plaintiff’s claim that the Ford “Built Ford Tough” slogan was misleading. The judge, who presided over the case kicked that part of the lawsuit and also disallowed adding other plaintiffs from other states into the lawsuit.
Ford has made their mark with that excellent slogan. And sure, through the years they’ve had their fair share of recalls, but as recently noted by J.D. Power, the F-150 is a reliable truck and still deserves the moniker of “Built Ford Tough.”
I’m an advocate for truck consumers. And I’m an advocate of Ford doing what’s right as it relates to this frozen door lock issue. I believe they are accommodating as much possible, even before the Kommer v. Ford Motor Company settlement came down. Now with that settlement in place it’s time for Ford to make sure all of the affected consumers are placated.
What say you? Have you dealt with the issue? Have you been satisfied with the response from the dealer in making the appropriate repair with as little inconveinece as possible? Leave a comment and let me know.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. In addition to being a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, Jimmy is also author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, and Twitter and Twitter.