Ford Faces Lawsuit for Exploding Sunroofs
A judge ruled this month that Ford cannot escape a lawsuit seeking to hold it responsible for manufacturing vehicles with defective sunroofs that spontaneously shatter. The Plaintiffs claim that the tempered glass used to make the sunroofs is both too weak and too thin to withstand normal forces.
Jacob and Jessica Beaty filed suit against Ford after their sunroof exploded. Jessica Beaty was driving on Interstate 5 at about 60 miles per hour with her young daughter in the back seat when she heard an explosion that sounded like a shotgun. Ms. Beaty could not pull over immediately but looked up and saw a large portion of the sun roof missing. When she closed the sunroof, pieces of glass rained down on her and her daughter, cutting their face and hands. After doing some internet research, the Beatys found out they weren’t alone. Ford sunroofs had been exploding since 2007, but Ford had refused to do anything about it.
The Beatys brought suit against Ford claiming that Ford knew that its sunroofs were likely to explode but did nothing to warn car buyers that this might be a problem. The Beatys seek to represent owners of 16 different models of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury with defective sunroofs.
Ford asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that the Beatys could only bring suit about the vehicle they own – not 16 different models. The court disagreed and held that because the defect was uniform across models, the Beatys could pursue a lawsuit on behalf of owners of all 16 models with the defective sunroofs.