Destination and delivery charges are one of those things that car shoppers have come to expect and have little choice but to pay. Many assume that this charge is precisely what it costs the manufacturer to ship a vehicle to a dealership, though a new lawsuit – Mary Hawkins v. Ford Motor Company, recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California – alleges that Ford destination charges are actually profitable for the automaker, according to Car Complaints.
The class-action lawsuit was originally filed by the owner of a 2019 Lincoln MKX, who purchased the vehicle new back in 2019. The plaintiff argues that she didn’t know at the time that the $995 Ford destination fee she paid generated a profit for the automaker, and claims that most consumers aren’t aware of this fact either.
“By virtue of the name of the fee itself, Ford misleads reasonable consumers into believing its ‘Destination & Delivery’ fee reflects the actual cost of shipping its vehicles to their ‘destination,’ not the cost of shipping its vehicles plus profit,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit doesn’t specify how much of a profit Ford makes on its destination and delivery fees, but alleges that this practice is “deceptive and unfair.”
The lawsuit also points out that Ford’s destination charges for the Ford F-150 have increased 42 percent over the last four years, while other automakers – including BMW, Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo – have only increased these charges by less than 20 percent over the same time period.
Ford isn’t the only automaker facing such allegations, however. In fact, the same lawyers responsible for this lawsuit also filed a similar suit against cross-town rivals General Motors and Stellantis last month.