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Latest Ford Scam – The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  October 28, 2009

A prospective client brought me an interesting situation. She had a lemon law claim against Ford, but what she brought with her was evidence of the latest scam by Ford Motor Co. to escape it’s liabilities under lemon laws.

The woman had taken her vehicle in for warranty repair. The part necessary to effect the repair was on back order and so her vehicle was to be in the shop for a few weeks until it came in. With a smile on their face, the dealer offered to put her into a rental car for the duration of the waiting time, but at a cost. She was given a Release of All Claims to sign in exchange for receiving the rental car during the downtime. Upon close examination the Release included forgoing of any lemon law claims, any product liability claims, virtually any claim that might arise from ownership of the Ford product. The Release was worded in such a way as to imply it is being implemented on a nationwide basis, also releasing Magnuson-Moss claims aka Federal Lemon Law.

The prospective client was smart enough to actually read the Release and refused to sign it because she had been in several times for the same defect and was aware that she may have rights under California’s Lemon Law. She refused to sign it even though the smiling dealership said, “oh, it’s no big deal; you want the rental don’t you?”

The less sophisticated consumer might not read what they are signing. If they did sign it, and later it turned out they had a “lemon”, at best there are issues of whether the Release is enforceable, and whether the false and misleading statements made to induce the signature are admissible. Then there are judges who will uphold the Release and slam the door in the face of the consumer, who is left holding the keys of their lemon car. I suppose many unsuspecting consumers have and will sign Ford’s scandalous Release never realizing the impact it might have on them in the future. This is precisely why Ford does it. This is one way Ford protects itself from putting out “crap” product to the public.

Whoever said greed was confined to Wall Street?

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