Marketing can be a company’s best friend when done correctly, or it can incite anger and lawsuits if done incorrectly.
Ford is learning the importance of truth in marketing, as some customers are discovering that their Shelby GT350s aren’t holding up on the track quite as well as Ford promised.
Before we go any further, it’s important to remember that Ford hasn’t done anything wrong, nor is there any confirmation that the automaker purposely sold the GT350 as something it isn’t. What we do know is a group of owners have experienced serious overheating issues while on the track, and a couple of law firms have taken notice.
A lawsuit filed on March 22, 2017 at the U.S. District Court for the southern district of Florida stated the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is at risk of having its transmission and rear differential overheat in as little as 15 minutes. Since the vehicle was marketed as a track-ready muscle car with years of racing heritage engrained into its DNA, both law firms are filing a class action lawsuit against Ford for fraud and breach of warranty claims. The complainants are reporting Ford refused to fix their vehicles and instructed them to seek repairs on their own dollar.
Obviously taking a car to the track and running it at its limits is typically against the advice of any automaker, and it’s one way to quickly void a warranty.
The GT350, though, is marketed as a “track-ready” machine, and owners are crying foul because the car isn’t holding up as promised.
This raises the question of whether or not Ford knew that the cars had a defect that would inhibit their track performance. Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said in a news release,
When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations. We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its ‘track-ready’ marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hot rod consumers paid for.
Rather than tearing up the track at high speeds, 2016 GT350s are entering “limp mode” and failing to perform as advertised.
Ford won’t comment on pending litigation, but we hope this is a problem that will be acknowledged and corrected before the courts get involved.
In the longstanding battle of Mustang versus Camaro, this is some pretty serious ammunition for Camaro fans. As far as we know, the Camaro SS hasn’t experienced any problems on the track, except for maybe having to weave around limping Mustangs.
Does this lawsuit against Ford change your opinion of the Mustang?