Ford Hit With 1.7 Billion Verdict on F250 Roof Collapse

I was never really into Fords but I can see them being taken over by Toyota or VW in the not too distant future, you can add GM to that too.
Just a 'sourball' point: If the industry and consumers could get their heads out of the sand and accept the fact that stylishness of trucks (trucks, for Heaven's sake) eats the resources for other things like safety and build quality, we'd be better off.

Consumers and VW could not just admit or accept that diesels are slower than gas powered cars. Emission limits had to be ignored.
Will Ford offer 6 year warranties as VW did to revive sales?
I see both sides of this and in my summary, it's just the reality of life's choices from all sides. Be forewarned; Prepare for my rant.

Yes- loss of life is terrible; we'd all agree on that.

I only took one economics class in college, but it was drilled into my head that EVERYTHING has a "cost".
- costs of capitol
- costs of inventory
- costs of production
- costs of engineering
- costs of marketing
- costs of overhead
- costs of labor
but there are also other types of costs, such as the "cost of lost opportunity", "cost of unintended consequences", "cost of market rejection"
etc ....

The irony is not lost on me that I bet, to the person, that jury which awarded the HUGE punitive fine (most of which goes to the State of GA; 70% right off the top), is also loaded people who would complain about:
- the cost of buying a new truck
- the cost of gas
- the cost of insurance
- the cost of maintaining high-tech equipment

If you want a "safer" truck, you end up with mandatory things like anti-lock brakes, sway/stability control, cameras, blind spot sensors, lane-keep assist systems, etc .... they all add to the overall cost of a vehicle. Now you want a truck to be essentially "roll-over proof"? ... that's added costs in engineering, materials, etc. It also adds weight to the vehicle, which makes it get less fuel economy ... Ford didnt' cheat the system; at the time there was no roll-over standard for these trucks in that GVWR class. It's not like Ford pulled a VW or FCA move and flat lied and falsified during testing procedures. Ford had an adequate design that wasn't bullet-proof, but satisfied MILLIONS of buyers at the time. Ford certainly could have made the cab roof stronger, but the costs involved (of which there are many) outweighed the cost of the upgrade at the time. It's not like you just decide on Friday to make the cab stronger, and on Monday it goes into production ... There are engineering choices, material lead times, new stamping dies to buy; it can take a year or two to make structural changes. Ford was selling these things like hot-cakes and downtime wasn't well tolerated, because the market was screaming for these at high production volumes.

This reminds me of an event in AZ where a Phoenix officer was killed because his cruiser was hit from behind at 70mph (ish) by a drunk driver, and the CVPI burst into flames. As I recall, that family and department ended up suing Ford because the car was "only" tested for a 35mph collision from the rear (which was the federal safety standard at the time). So some folks thought that Ford could have done more, so they sued. And Ford did respond; they made CVPIs with much beefier fuel tank containment systems; that cost $$$. Then police departments complained about delays in delivery and costs added to the goverment orders.

Vehicles generally improve safety every single year. But there is always a "next level" which has to be weighed against what the market is ultimately willing to pay for. I assure you with absolute certainty that every OEM vehicle maker out there is making some kind of compromise about some safety consideration. That does not mean the vehicles are unsafe; it only means they are not 100% as safe as they "could" be, because other considerations of cost (in all it's forms) is competing against the improvement. If you design an element to sustain X tons of crush force, there's some moron in the market who is going to sue because you didn't design it for X+1 pounds of crush force. Design your roof for a rollover at 35mph and 5 tons of force? Karen is going to sue because you didn't make it 40mph and 6 tons. Up your game next year and make it good for 50mph and 8 tons? Karen's neice is going to sue because it wasn't 70mph and 12 tons ... You get the picture.

People are hypocrites. They want cheap, plentiful stuff, until it fails, and then they want to sue for it being cheap and plentiful because it wasn't as robust as it "could have been". You wanna be totally safe? News flash: It's impossible. I'd love to have a stylish car that only weighs 2,000 lbs, gets 57mpg in the city, has a range of 600 miles, seats 9 comfortably, tows 5 tons easily, and has 400 hp. Could such a vehicle be built? Possibly so, right up until you get to that retail price-point consideration ...


The consequence of this lesson is that OEMs will just continue to pass costs along. The cost of making the vehicles "safe" is bolstered by having to pass on the cost of a BILLON DOLLAR punitive judgement. Ford won't absorb that cost; we will. Because if you build a truck as tough as a tank, you get a military-sized price tag to go along with it.

My rant endeth here.
Effective rant ! I only had one vehicle that I think had a strong roof - an H3. The trade off was the short thick verticals made for the worst blind spots ever - and absent (2009) some of today’s digital aids - had to trade it before a wreck occurred …
One choice my wife and I just made was to avoid the big glass roofs gaining popularity - IMO that just increases the odds of a fixed object punching through in a roll over …
Having served on jury’s - it’s hard for many to understand ALARP …
I'm curious about this ruling. If the federal government did not feel the need to test for rollover accidents when the truck was manufactured, then why should Ford be held responsible for making a vehicle that was compliant during the time of sale? Also, I may be wrong but most (if not all) trucks and SUVs I've been in have a warning on the sun visor for increased rollover risk at speed.

The strength of the roofs of these trucks is not and has not been a secret for a long time. A 2-minute search on Google and some YouTube videos could tell you that. If the owners were that concerned about that aspect, they should have sold the truck and bought one with a higher level of roof strength or done something to beef it up in my opinion.
I am inferring a bunch here - so be gentle.

The primary reason we have so many safety laws and mandates from the government is the big companies have shown over the years they can't be trusted to do the right thing. I don't want these types of laws, or lawsuits or awards either, but to convince the rest of the public these companies have to stop doing stupid things.

I think the issue is that Ford "corrected" the weak roof design in the F150 in 2009, but left the F250 as is until 2017. The article tends to indicate that Ford knew of this issue far before even 2009. So even if it met all the laws, I presume the jury found them negligent because they specifically knew of the problem and its risks for a couple of decades but chose to do nothing about it.

The Pinto problem was the same scenario. It met all the laws at the time of manufacture. Ford figured out the gas tank problem early on, but it would have cost $100M to fix it - for ones already on the road and ones they anticipated building going forward. Some bean counter figured out that it would be cheaper to simply pay out the lawsuits for the anticipated deaths rather pay to fix it. When that came out in the first lawsuit a jury awarded way more than the cost to fix the thing would have - in one lawsuit. It just about bankrupt Ford.

Corporate memory is apparently short.
Had enough 99 up Super Duties but never rolled one ..... still have 2

I like all the American trucks even including Nissan but it's going to take a whole lot to change my choice on 3/4 ton and up trucks from Ford .
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Had enough 99 up Super Duties but never rolled one ..... still have 2

I like all the American trucks even including Nissan but it's going to take a whole lot to change my choice on 3/4 ton and up trucks from Ford .
I live in a Ford Super Duty town - work (farming/ranching, oilfield etc) and play (tow massive Yellowfins) and have never seen one that’s been rolled …
It does seem odd. If the plaintiffs get 25% I would imagine the lawyers get the lion’s share of that.

In the end they may have enough to buy a new Ford.
Would lawsuit judgments be considered income? Chop another 40% of the 25% to the fed govt, and then whatever Georgia state income taxes are as well... so yea, they may have enough to buy a new Focus after all is said & done.
The award doesn't have to be right, justified, or legitimate. It simply has to get twelve jurors to support the plantiff's attorney's sales pitch. That is all.

A mother is suing Wal Mart at this moment as she left her young children in her car in a Wal Mart parking lot while she went shopping. A fire occured in the Wal Mart parking lot and one child died, the other seriously burned. All for her to win the case is for 12 jurors to take her side of the story.

There is not a single vehicle made today that is jury proof from a top ambulance chasing attorney. Not one. Every corporation that has deep pockets is always at risk for a lawsuit. There is a reason personal injury attorneys advertise incessantly. Corporations will pay these snake oil salesmen to go away, and pay big. Of course, in the end we are the ones who are paying these claims, not the corporation, through higher passed on costs.
Many on BITOG are not paying for these settlements with the older vehicles they buy.

Pretty Good example-
My wife wanted a music album from a female artist who supported a guy that made some outlandish documentaries (yea-could could probably guess who he is) so she didn't want to buy the album. I ordered the album used from a private party who didn't put any money in to the pocket of the female artist in question.
That's what BITOGers do buying beaters or near beaters. You insurance premiums are another story.
So roll bars are now a requirement in trucks, or something???
Not quite. NHTSA doesn’t test “heavy-duty” trucks/buses/RVs to the same rigor as passenger cars. If I got a truck like that, even a 1/2 ton, a roll bar/headache rack ain’t a bad idea.

I see trucks used in rail yards with full roll cages.
Not sure I'd ever own a new Ford... maybe an older one.

So here's the Ford attorneys appealing the amount of the Judgement in 3, 2, 1...
So somebody drives too fast for the conditions and rolls their truck that at the time of manufacture meets all existing safety requirements, and a jury awards an outrageous settlement? This is what's wrong with the legal system.

The article:

For years the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration had exempted heavy-duty trucks like the F-250 from the same safety standards as passenger cars and trucks. But Butler said that didn’t make a difference in this case.