A U.S. District Court judge last week dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. over lug nuts alleged to be defective, saying the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient facts and had "no legally viable claims."
The 120-count complaint, first filed in 2017, alleged the lug nuts on millions of Ford Fusion, Escape, Flex, Focus, F-150 and F-350 vehicles can swell and delaminate, making it difficult to remove the wheels without paying for repairs and new lug nuts. Defendants from 27 states were seeking various reimbursement amounts based on out-of-pocket costs and the value of their vehicles, claiming it was a breach of their warranty claims. Ford last February filed a motion to dismiss, calling the claims "nonsensical."
Law firm Hagens Berman represented the clients in the Eastern District of Michigan. Steve Berman, the firm's managing partner, said Ford made lug nuts with "an inferior design that puts cosmetics ahead of safety and directly led to harm to consumers."
In dismissing the complaint, Judge Stephen Murphy said the plaintiffs lacked sufficient facts to plead a breach of warranty claim, state-law fraud or consumer protection claims. He also ruled that they lacked enough facts to support their unjust enrichment claim that Ford benefited from the situation.
Hagens Berman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.