Shelby Mustang GT350 Owners Suing Ford Because It Isn't "Track-Ready"

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Turns out it's prone to overheating transmissions and differentials.

The tire-smoking Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 is a popular choice for enthusiasts looking for a road car that can also tear up the track, but disgruntled owners are now suing Ford, claiming that the "track-ready" muscle car can't be tamed on a racetrack safely - despite being named after the famous racing driver Carroll Shelby. The lawsuit, filed by law firms Hagens Berman and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, claims that the GT350 can lose speed and power mid-drive in as little as 15 minutes when taken to the track.

According to the lawsuit, owners feel conned because the Shelby GT350 is advertised as a track-capable road car, but models equipped with the Base or Technology package don't have the required external coolers, causing the transmission and rear differential to overheat. This causes the Mustang to go into Limp Mode, lose power and rapidly decelerate, contradicting Ford's claim that the Shelby GT350 is a "track-ready" muscle car. Essentially, thousands of owners paid a premium for a car that's practically useless on the racetrack and could risk their safety. Hagens Berman has a history with car manufacturer lawsuits, having successfully reached a $1.6 billion settlement with Toyota.

The law firm is also currently instigating legal action against General Motors for its ignition switch defects, as well as other lawsuits against Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz for using emissions-cheating software. Owners of the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang base model or Technology Package are being advised by the firm that they could be entitled to compensation for the defect. "When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been associated with racing for generations," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.

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"We believe that Ford induced purchasers with its 'track-ready' marketing, when in fact it knew that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever being the hotrod consumers paid for." Customers have filed complaints to Ford about the defective transmissions and rear differentials, to which the response has been "pay for a fix on your own dime," according to Berman. Ford could also be in breach of several consumer protection statutes because it continued to market the GT350 as a safe track-focused car, as well as warranty violation since it hasn't offered to fix the fault free of charge. The lawsuit is requesting the automaker to reimburse owners the full purchase price of the Shelby GT350.

In addition, it also asks Ford to pay for punitive damages and the depreciated vehicle value, as well as injunctive relief for Ford's misconduct "related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of affected vehicles." "Shelby owners sought these vehicles specifically because they appreciate fast cars and the legacy of the Mustang, and wanted to own a piece of racing history – to live the dream of being able to own a car that could be used for everyday driving and also had the power and performance for the racetrack," said Stuart Grossman, founder and partner at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen. "What Ford sold them was nothing of the sort."

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