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Ford Truck Defects Leading to “Death Wobble” Class Action

Ford F-250 Truck

The “Death Wobble” experienced by some Ford trucks, allegedly caused by defects, is the subject of this class action against the Ford Motor Company. The complaint alleges it poses risks to drivers, passengers, and surrounding vehicles.

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons and entities in the US who are current or former owners or lessees of a Class Vehicle. As an alternative, a California Class has been proposed, composed of all persons or entities in California who are current or former owners or lessees of a Class Vehicle primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, as defined by the California Civil Code § 1791(a). The Class Vehicles are Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks, model years 2005 through 2019.

The complaint says, “The Death Wobble is typically triggered when the Class Vehicles are traveling at speeds above 50 miles per hour and one of the tires hits a groove or bump in the road. This causes a violent shaking of the vehicle, which can only be controlled by a sudden reduction in speed.” 

The complaint attributes this to defects in the suspension and steering systems of the vehicles, involving abnormal wear or loosening of the track bar bushing (pitman arm), damper bracket, ball joints, control arms, shock absorbers, and/or struts. It may happen at any time, although it typically happens right before or after the end of the warranty period. 

Plaintiff William Lessin’s 2011 Ford F-250 began going into the Death Wobble in 2018. He brought it to a Ford dealership for servicing, where they replaced the truck’s front suspension tie, dampers, and ball joints. The truck continued to experience the Wobble, so Lessin brought it back in. This time they replaced the front shock absorbers, but that also did not eliminate the Wobble. The complaint describes Lessin as “out of repair options.”

The complaint dedicates over 200 of its pages to complaints from the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the Death Wobble.

  • During the Wobble, “[t]he vehicle is uncontrollable and extremely dangerous. I won’t let any of my family members ride in the truck with me… It has shaken me off the road and into the ditch or median several times.”
  • “Yesterday I was traveling at about 60 miles an hour on the highway when I went over a sewer grate in the left lane. The vibration became so violent that I had no control of the steering at all. I narrowly avoided a collision with a fuel truck and several other cars on my way off the road…”
  • “While driving at 55 mph, the front end of the vehicle began to shake. The contact slowed the vehicle down and the tires blew out. The vehicle veered to the left and into oncoming traffic. The contact crashed into a mountain and the vehicle rolled over twice….”

Still, the complaint alleges that Ford has not owned up to the problem and has no fix for it.

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