Ford Authority

Ford 3G Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Obsolete Modems

The nationwide phaseout of 3G cellular service impacted vehicles that offered a number of remote features using apps and integrated modems. While Ford made modems standard on every vehicle a few short years ago, they run on the newer 4G cellular spectrum, and newer vehicles like the 2023 Ford Super Duty now utilize 5G, a potential harbinger for an eventual phaseout of the older standard. The rapid rise and inevitable obsolesce of these standards naturally leads to vehicle owners being left to grapple with the fallout, and a disgruntled Ford Fusion owner has now filed a class action lawsuit against the automaker, alleging that The Blue Oval’s fix for the issue is inadequate, per CarComplaints.

The 3G class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The case, Michael Scriber v. Ford Motor Company revolves around Scriber’s Ford Fusion Energi ownership experience, which is claimed to have been diminished by the discontinuation of the 3G cellular service, which rendered a number of functions unavailable. The plaintiff first noticed an issue in June 2022, nearly two years after he purchased the 2020 Fusion new. After bringing the sedan to a dealership, the plaintiff was informed that a 4G modem upgrade kit could be installed for $558.48. As part of the lawsuit, the owner alleges that the fee to replace the outdated modem with a 4G unit is inadequate and should be replaced for free under the new vehicle warranty. The vehicles listed by the plaintiff in the lawsuit are also alleged to be impacted by the change and are as follows:

  • 2014-2020 Ford Fusion Energi
  • 2014-2017 Ford C-Max Energi
  • 2016-2018 Ford Focus Electric
  • 2016-2017 Lincoln MKZ / MKZ hybrid
  • 2015-2017 Lincoln MKC
  • 2017 Lincoln Continental
  • 2016-2017 Lincoln MKX

According to the lawsuit, a number of features are no longer available to vehicle owners, such as remote start, lock and unlock, vehicle location, and charging status for Energi models. Additionally, the class action lists a loss of preferential insurance rates that are offered for vehicles with various anti-theft and safety connectivity features. This is the latest class action lawsuit to be filed against the company, as plaintiffs have introduced a new water pump class action lawsuit in New York, and another suit alleges that some Ford Super Duty pickups lacked proper roof strength when produced.

We’ll be following this lawsuit closely, so subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. whypac

    Ford has no business building a 2020 anything with a 3g radio. I’d even argue Ford had no business building a 2016+ anything with a 3g radio. By the close of 2010, 4g radios were common place. Putting 3g radios in 2014 to 2016 MY vehicles built prior to 2016 is Ford being cheap. Ford still manufacturing vehicles with 3g radios in or after 2016 is completely ridiculous.

    In 2016, 5g radios were being introduced, meaning 4g radios were on their way out, and 3g radios were completely obsolete.

    A 3g radio in 2020 MY vehicle is a serious what the….

    1. SEO

      you clearly did not read the article. none of the models’ effected are 2020.

      1. Leadingsx

        LMAO! Who didn’t read the article?

  2. The Gentle Grizzly

    I recall the OnStar phone switch from analog to digital. All but a few GM vehicles could be converted, and the conversion charge on my mother’s CTS was $19.95 if she renewed the OnStar for another year. That was quite reasonable, and the conversion was done with little muss or fuss.

    I agree with whypac: 3G fitment in anything after 2016 was just, plain, cheap.

  3. Arcee

    Technology advances. That’s the way it works. The 3G phase out was announced in 2021, well after a 2020 model would have been built. This owner of the 2020 Fusion just had bad timing when he purchased his car. Just as anyone with a 3G phone would go pay for an upgrade, Ford is charging owners of affected cars $560 to upgrade…about the price of a mid-tier smartphone. Either pay for the upgrade or do without the connectivity in the car. This is not unreasonable.

    Onstar equipped vehicles had a similar issue when 2G and 3G shut down. Many cars still have the old equipment and antennas but they are non-functional.

    To claim this is a warranty issue is ridiculous. The features didn’t stop due to an issue with the equipment itself breaking or failing. The signal that it uses was turned off. This isn’t Ford’s problem. What’s next? People who buy new ICE cars just prior to the ban in certain states will want a free upgrade to an EV?

    1. John

      I disagree. Ford knew in 2014 that the 3G modem in the 2019 Fusion Titanium Energi that they sold me would become obsolete and that the advertised features dependent on this modem would become useless during the warranty period. I love my car, but Ford is dead wrong on this issue. They need to replace my 3G under the warranty agreement.

      1. Jean

        I agree. I read somewhere that they did notify owners at some point. Maybe that is when they made the $500+ replacement available. My used 2019 Fusion Energi was purchased 3 months ago and the previous owner did not take care of it. Instead, he traded it in last fall when 3G was discontinued. I will pay close to $900 for the new module because of this. When I called the place where I purchased, and have purchased 5 previous vehicles from, said “sorry, we didn’t know.” I told them they do now and need to be advising buyers because I would have bought a different car had I known.
        Some comments indicate that Ford did nothing wrong. However, they put in 3G modems when 4G had been around for awhile and they knew 3G was going away.

  4. Bill

    It’s always someone else’s fault. Shut up and buy a Chevy next time.

    1. Andrew

      A Chevy??? No thanks. I won’t ever buy a GM car. They stole public tax money and never paid it back.

      I’m inclined to agree with John. I have a 2015 fusion energi. Was a great car. Now not anymore without the ability to unlock/lock/ remote start my car anymore.

      I tried to get my modem replaced at 3 different dealers. All of them gave me different BS excuses for why it couldn’t be done.

      A. Oh it’ll brick your car
      B. Oh your car isn’t covered under this service action.
      C. We can’t get the parts.

      Done with ford. Never buying another one. Sold mine and bought a BMW. How ford went about this, they will lose tons of customers.

  5. Chris

    Ford did mine, just essentially paid labor. Being in high tech, to me it was part of the necessary evolution of technology….just like a desktop will eventually stop working whether Mac or PC…so it is… I’m very satisfied with my Ford experience. My thinking is that if you purchased the extended warranty (up to 5 years) it should be included. Other than that, you’re on your own.

    1. Ed

      I personally do have extended warranty to 80,000 miles on a Ford Fusion Hybrid SE I bought new in 2019 that how has 57,000 miles. Who did you speak to to get the work done via warranty? Much appreciated.

  6. Larry Stone

    I miss telling Alexa “Tell My Ford Mobile to start my car” or “Ask My Ford Mobile how many EV miles are left”. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to just walk out to my fusion as ask her directly.

  7. Nathan

    Do it yourself. Grab the proper TCU 4g modem that will work in your vehicle. Salvage yards and EBay….they are out there. Get your laptop and download Forscan. You’ll also need a OBD2 that will connect to the laptop. A used 4g modem on EBay cost me $75 and $20 for the OBD2 plus about 1.5 hour of my time. I did this myself to a 2017 Lincoln MKC that had the old 3g. Dealers wanted $700-$900.

    1. Mark

      Did you find a step by step instructions online?

      1. Jean

        I saw a YouTube on doing the replacement. I’m 70 and clueless, so I’m paying the $831.34. I understand that technology advances, but putting a 3G modem in when it was, basically, already outdated, is irresponsible.

      2. Reply
    2. Dee

      Nathan – Where are you located? can/Will you do mine??? 2017 MKX

  8. Gary Downen

    Can I still take my Ford Fusion Energi Titanium to a Ford dealership and they will do installation free if I pay for parts?


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