On June 25th, 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 was alleged that:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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 29th, 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:
- currently own or lease a 1983 through 1995 model-year Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicle with a distributor-mounted TFI module;
- 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
- 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.
A settlement was reached 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 15th, 2006 and by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 13th, 2006, and became became effective on November 13th, 2006.