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These days, there's a touchscreen for everything -- your phone, fridge, soda fountain, restaurant menu. You can even FaceTime your dog while you're at work. And of course, all new cars come equipped with a touchscreen imbedded into the dash. Where you used to turn a knob or press a button, most of your car's functions can only be accessed through the touchscreen's menu options. So, you can see why it might be a problem if that touchscreen freezes. It's hard to defrost the windows in the winter or turn on the AC in summer if those buttons don't work.
These types of issues prompted a number of car owners to sue Ford after their vehicles' touchscreens weren't functioning properly. After years of litigation in the class action lawsuit, Ford has agreed to a settlement regarding its unsafe touchscreens.
Lawsuit: Ford Knowingly Sold Unsafe Touchscreens
In July of 2013, attorneys filed the class action suit against Ford, claiming the Microsoft touchscreens in their cars sold between 2010 and 2013 would often freeze. This left drivers unable to perform functions like operating the rearview camera or dialing 911. The lawsuit claimed that Ford knowingly sold cars with the faulty, unsafe touchscreens.
Ford Customers Get at Least $35
Ford agreed to the settlement to avoid a potential $300 million in civil penalties that could have been assess if they lost the jury trial. As part of the agreement, consumers in seven states - California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington state - who bought vehicles with either My Ford Touch or My Lincoln Touch systems before August 9, 2013 could receive certain payouts or discounts on new vehicles.
For example, if you fit those categories and had trouble with one of the systems, Ford will pay you at least $35. If you paid for at least one software fix, you would receive $100 or a $200 discount on the purchase of a new vehicle. Those amounts increase if you paid for multiple software fixes. Additionally, Ford will offer free software upgrades for six months and free software service at Ford dealerships for one year. The plaintiffs' lawyers are also asking for $22 million in attorneys' fees.
We rely on our cars to get us to our destinations safely. If you're driving a defective, unsafe vehicle, it's possible you're not the only one. Contact an attorney to see if you have a viable case to seek compensation.