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Ford TFI

On June 25, 2002, Branch MacMaster and Camp Fiorante Matthews jointly commenced a class action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against US automaker Ford Motor Company, and its Canadian subsidiary, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited / Ford du Canada Limitée.

The Plaintiff in the class action is Barbara Reid. In the Statement of Claim filed by Ms. Reid, it is alleged that:

  1. thick film ignition ("TFI") modules which Ford mounts on the distributor above the engine block of certain vehicles, are subject to temperatures which exceed safe operating limits;
  2. when subjected to these higher temperatures, TFI modules can and have failed, resulting in loss of power steering and power brakes, and causing the vehicles in which they were mounted to stumble or stall suddenly and without warning during normal operations;
  3. the Ford companies knew or ought to have known of the inordinately high propensity of failure of the TFI modules due to overheating, and the problems such failure could cause.

In Reasons for Judgment released on October 29, 2003, Madam Justice Gerow of the B.C. Supreme Court certified this case as a class action.

The class was defined as British Columbia residents who:

  1. currently own or lease a 1983 through 1995 model-year Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicle with a distributor-mounted TFI module;
  2. have owned or leased a 1983 through 1995 model-year Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle with a distributor-mounted TFI module and paid or were charged for the cost of replacing a TFI module in such vehicle; or
  3. purchased or leased a 1983 through 1995 model-year Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle with a distributor-mounted TFI module when that vehicle was new and paid or were charged for the costs of replacing or repairing a TFI module in such vehicle.

All persons who fall within the definition of the class are automatically class members. All class members will be bound by the court's judgment on the common issues, whether favourable or not, unless they have opted out of the class. For more information about this class action, please read the court-approved Notice of Certification.

Settlement:

We have reached an agreement with the Defendants, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited and Ford Motor Company (collectively "Ford") to settle the claims of the Class Members (the "Settlement Agreement"). This agreement was approved by the British Columbia Supreme Court on September 15, 2006 and by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 13, 2006, and became became effective on November 13, 2006.

A copy of the Settlement Agreement and all of its Schedules can be viewed by clicking here.

As you will see, subject to the terms and conditions set out in the settlement documents, Ford will:

(a)  provide Class Members who currently own a Class Vehicle an extension of new vehicle warranty coverage with respect to TFI Modules to the first 160,000 kilometres of vehicle operation; and

(b)  set aside $1,500,000 (the "Settlement Fund") to reimburse Class Members for the actual amounts paid by them for costs (i.e. parts, labour, and towing) incurred, up to a maximum of $325.00CDN (inclusive of taxes), in replacing TFI Modules in Class Vehicles that had been in operation for 160,000 kilometres or less at the time of such replacement. If the claims made exceed the Settlement Fund, the payment will be effected on a pro-rata basis.

Ford will pay the all inclusive amount of $300,000CDN to us and the other lawyers who have worked with us in this case on account of our fees, disbursements and taxes. A further $200,000CDN or less for fees, disbursements, and taxes may be paid to us from the Settlement Fund if there is money left after all claims are paid.

Once the Settlement becomes effective, we will provide notice of the settlement to the Class Members by way of direct correspondence with the known Class Members, and by way of advertisement. The notice will provide detailed instructions on how to submit a claim. If you have not already provided your details and wish to receive direct notice of the settlement, please send your details to Ulla Herlev at uherlev@branmac.com, or (604) 654-2964. You may also obtain all necessary claims forms and information on how to submit a claim at the Settlement Administrator's website at www.tfisettlement.ca or by calling 1-888-222-7814.

If you have already provided your name and contact information to us, we ask that you please let us know if your contact information changes in the next couple of months.

Class Vehicles

To the best of our knowledge, the following vehicles were (or, in the case of vehicles designated with an asterisk, may have been) equipped with a distributor mounted TFI module:

Year Models
1983 Capri*, Escort*, EXP*, Lynx, LN7, Mustang*, Ranger*, Thunderbird*
1984 Bronco*, Bronco II, Capri*, Continental*, Cougar*, Crown Victoria*, E-Series*, Escort*, EXP*, F-Series*, Grand Marquis, LTD*, Lynx*, Mark*, Marquis*, Mustang*, Ranger*, Tempo, Thunderbird*, Topaz, Town Car
1985 Bronco*, Bronco II, Capri, Continental, Cougar, Crown Victoria*, E-Series*, Escort*, EXP*, F-Series*, Grand Marquis, LTD, Mark, Marquis, Merkur, Mustang, Ranger*, Tempo, Thunderbird, Topaz, Town Car
1986 Aerostar, Bronco*, Bronco II, Capri, Continental, Cougar, Crown Victoria*, E-Series*, Escort*, EXP*, F-Series*, Grand Marquis, LTD, Lynx/XR3*, Mark, Marquis, Merkur, Mustang, Ranger*, Sable, Taurus, Tempo, Thunderbird, Topaz, Town Car
1987 Aerostar, Bronco, Bronco II, Continental, Cougar*, Crown Victoria*, E-Series, Escort, EXP, F-Series*, Grand Marquis, Lynx, Mark, Merkur, Mustang, Ranger*, Sable, Taurus, Tempo, Thunderbird, Topaz, Town Car
1988 Aerostar, Bronco, Bronco II, Cougar*, Crown Victoria*, E-Series, Escort, EXP, F-Series, Grand Marquis, Mark, Merkur, Mustang, Ranger*, Sable*, Scorpio, Taurus*, Tempo, Thunderbird*, Topaz, Town Car
1989 Aerostar, Bronco, Bronco II, Crown Victoria*, E-Series, Escort, F-Series, F-Striped Chassis, Grand Marquis, Mark, Merkur, Mustang, Ranger*, Sable*, Scorpio, Taurus*, Tempo, Topaz, Town Car
1990 Aerostar*, Bronco, Bronco II, Crown Victoria*, E-Series*, Escort, F-Series*, Grand Marquis, Mark, Mustang, Probe*, Ranger*, Sable*, Taurus*, Tempo, Topaz, Town Car
1991 Bronco, Crown Victoria*, E-Series*, F-Series*, Grand Marquis, Mark, Mustang*, Probe*, Ranger*, Sable*, Taurus*, Tempo, Topaz
1992 Mark, Mustang*, Probe*, Ranger*, Sable*, Taurus*, Tempo, Topaz
1993 Mustang*, Sable*, Taurus*, Tempo, Topaz
1994 Sable*, Taurus*, Tempo, Topaz
1995 Sable*, Taurus*

If your vehicle is designated with an asterisk in the above list, or if you are unsure as to whether your vehicle did in fact have a distributor-mounted TFI module, you may want to have this checked by a mechanic or some other person with the requisite knowledge.

Other Litigation

Parallel litigation is ongoing in the United States. A settlement has been reached in that case that is subject to U.S. court approval. Canadians are unfortunately not entitled to participate in this U.S. settlement. However, you may wish to visit the U.S. settlement website.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the settlement please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-222-7814 to relate your experience or that of someone you know with respect to a vehicle with a distributor-mounted TFI module.  If you have any other questions, please contact us at:

Branch MacMaster
Barristers & Solicitors
Suite 1210-777 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1S4
Attention: Ulla Herlev
Email: uherlev@branmac.com
Telephone: 604-654-2964
Fax: 604-684-3429