Ford Authority

Ford Super Duty Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Roof Strength Issue

Back in 2014, two people were killed when their 2002 Ford Super Duty F-250 pickup rolled over, a tragedy that prompted that couple’s children to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker, claiming that models built between 1999 and 2016 had weak roofs that could crush occupants in the event of a rollover accident. The family was awarded $24 million by a jury as a result, though Ford has also been ordered to pay $1.7 billion in punitive damages as 5.2 million pickups are believed to be affected by this issue. Now, a class action lawsuit has been filed over this roof strength allegation, too.

The lawsuit – filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan – seeks to represent the owners and lessees of 1999-2016 Ford Super Duty trucks. It alleges that prior lawsuits and documents show that Ford failed to adequately test these Super Duty models, that it knew the roofs were prone to instances of roof crush, and that the automaker actually downgraded the roof strength of these trucks to reduce manufacturing costs.

“Litigation testing shows that not only did the F-250 roof fail to meet Ford’s 10,500-pound roof strength design target, it also shows that the roof strength of its F-250 Super Duty truck is weaker that [sic] its smaller and lighter pickup trucks – the F-150 and Ranger,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit seeks repayment to affected owners and lessees for damages incurred from the defect, including loss of vehicle value and out-of-pocket costs.

As Ford Authority reported last week, the 2002 Ford Super Duty wasn’t required to have a stronger roof, as heavy-duty trucks were excluded from tougher requirements at that time after automakers lobbied against including heavy-duty trucks in those stiffer standards, noting that the safety benefits for that type of vehicle were unclear. Heavy-duty trucks were eventually included in these new standards, and Ford gave the Super Duty a stronger roof after that change. However, the automaker is facing 162 lawsuits and 83 additional reports of roof crush similar to this case that affect heavy-duty trucks built between 1999-2016.

We’ll have more on this and all of Ford’s active lawsuits soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford lawsuit news, Ford Super Duty news, and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Harvey Brittain

    I have a 2001 F-350 7.3 that I drive daily to work and back as well as the weekend with my daughter I’m a single father raising his daughter full time as I have full custody of her should I be worried about me and my dying in it?

  2. Ford Dude

    You could look into getting a simple roll cage installed made from chromolybor D.O.M.

    Another option is a structural roll bar in the bed behind the cab* and a police partition behind the front seats**.

    *Some bed mounted bars are not structural & just for style & mounting lights. Try to get one that doesn’t block the center brake light.

    **A police vehicle partition can be gotten pretty cheap from auction, but unless it’s from a full size SUV or truck, it won’t be tight to the sides & roof. Take out the transparent barrier part to help HVAC circulate. It will need to be bolted or welded in with the base plates that are often not included at auction. Your front seats will not be able to recline far. You might be able to get a new or used one specific for Super Duties that will also attach into the upper seat belt bolt. I bought an old police SUV & left the partition in for safety since it didn’t have side airbags or stability control.

    1. Ford Dude

      The truck in the accident was surprisingly a crew cab & not the extended cab I expected it to be. The extended cabs have even less side & roof protection, so especially do some upgrades if you have the extended cab.

    2. Ford Dude

      That should read chromoly or D.O.M.

      The chromoly is stronger, more expensive, & meant more for race cars.

  3. Mark

    Just curious but if they met federal standards on what basis can they lose? Not saying that they should not be responsible but curious how they can be held to be reckless if they followed the law? What legal principal is it that says even if they followed the govt’s rules they can be in trouble? Or is it since there was no standard then Ford had the obligation to provide typical safety and did not? That would make sense.


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