Minnesota law fails to protect consumers

edit_IMG_3014The right front wheel on  my Ford Fusion fell off after 67,120 miles. This failure was not normal wear and tear and not due to an accident. Instead, the ball joint cracked and the wheel fell off, bringing my car to a screeching, uncontrolled stop. Fortunately, I was going rather slowly and was not hurt.

I felt the axle to the car was defective when it was purchased, and Ford was negligent in manufacturing my vehicle with this part. In my experience metal parts do not spontaneously crack unless a defect is present. Ford refused to accept any responsibility, and I filed a small claims conciliation court case against Ford. The trial took place Friday, August 25, 2017 and here is what I learned:

  • Minnesota law does not allow a claim of negligence against a manufacturer if the only damage is property damage. Had I been injured or killed then I would have had a potential negligence claim against Ford.
  • Ford has done an effective job of limiting their exposure through carefully worded warranty statements that restrict claims that may be brought against them under Minnesota law, including the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and merchantability.

I lost the case, and I believe the judge correctly decided the case according to Minnesota law. However, it doesn’t make me feel better, and next time I buy a car, it will very likely not be a Ford.

About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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3 Responses to Minnesota law fails to protect consumers

  1. Kathy Baids says:

    Glad you were not injured!!!

    Too bad about your court case. I loved my Ford Expedition for 14 years and 225,000 miles!

  2. Sandra Lyons says:

    Glad you were safe. But if you weren’t aware, FORD stands for Fix Or Repair Daily OR Found On Road Dead. Shared with me by a proud Mustang owner many years ago (not telling you how many but it was the ORIGINAL Mustang) and guess what? We broke down at the Road Rally at Elkhart Lake WI! So it IS true.

  3. Pingback: Am I a victim of Kobe Steel? | All About Images Blog

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