Lincoln, currently marketed as Ford’s luxury car brand, was founded in 1917 by Henry Leland, who had recently departed Cadillac, which he had co-founded. Lincoln was named in honor of Abraham Lincoln. At first, Lincoln plants were used to manufacture plane engines for World War I, but after the war they turned to luxury cars.
In 1922, Leland sold Lincoln to Ford Motor Company. One of Lincoln’s most famous and iconic cars, the Zephyr, debuted in 1934. It was less expensive than most Lincoln models and sold quickly. In 1940, they introduced the Lincoln Continental, the company’s most expensive and luxurious sedan, which is still in production today.
Lincoln introduced its first Sports Utility Vehicle in 1998, when it had become the best selling luxury car brand in the US. The Premier Automotive Group took ownership of the brand between 1998 and 2002, but then Ford repurchased it. The Lincoln Town Car was the largest American made car by 2006, measuring nearly 18 feet in length. Currently, Asian and European imports are offering Lincoln strong competition, but Ford is attempting to combat this with new marketing, interior and exterior customization, and the introduction of new models.
Lincoln Defects and Recalls
This section by no means represents a comprehensive list of manufacturing and operating malfunctions, and it is advisable to check for complete information on any recalls that may apply to your vehicle in order to quickly and safely address them. The following information, however, compiles some of the past and current common issues that Lincoln owners may experience.
In 2013, a number of plaintiffs in West Virginia filed a class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company for unintended acceleration in a large number of vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2010. These include seven Lincoln models such as the Zephyr, LS, Mark LT, Town Car, MKZ, and MKX from various years. Although most unintended acceleration lawsuits against Ford have been individual, the class action suit demands compensation for lost value on a large number of vehicles manufactured before the defect was corrected. they also assert that Ford knew of the problem back in 2002 and did nothing to address it or warn future customers.
At the time, many automakers were being sued for unintended acceleration. The lawsuit cites a statistic from the Transportation Department which stated that 374 deaths occurred between 2003 and 2009 due to issues with electronic throttle controls which regulate speed. In 2010, Ford began installing brake override technology in all vehicles which stopped the car if both the accelerator and the brake were depressed at the same time. Ford maintains that driver error is the main cause of unintended acceleration.
Faulty Door Latch
Ford has had recurring problems with faulty door latches in many of their models, including several Lincoln models. In 2015, at different times, Ford recalled certain 2010-2013 Lincoln MKS sedans and 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZs. Then, in 2016, they issued yet another recall for the problem covering 828,053 vehicles including the 2015 Lincoln MKC.
The problem apparently stems from a “broken pawl spring tab,” which prevents the vehicle from latching correctly. If the driver is able to latch the door, however, it may spring open while the driver is operating the vehicle. Ford reported one accident from this manufacturing defect in 2015 in which a car’s door swung open in a parking lot and hit an adjacent vehicle. In 2016 Ford reported one accident and one reported incident from the issue, the details of which are undisclosed. The company will provide a free replacement for the door latch to all owners and lessees of the affected vehicles.
Various Lincoln vehicles were also involved in a huge series of recalls this year which encompassed 17 automakers who installed Japanese made Takata airbags inflators into around 42 million vehicles sold in the United States. Takata did not implement a particular drying agent or “desiccant” in the production of their airbags, which caused a degradation of the propellant. Over time, this can cause unintended and unsafe airbag explosion which can send shards of plastic shrapnel into the driver’s face while the car is in operation.
The airbags have been linked to 13 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide. In June of 2016, Ford recalled 1.9 million cars that implemented the dangerous airbags including the 2006-2001 Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln Zephyr, along with the 2007-2010 Lincoln MKX. As of yet, Ford has not reported any injuries from the frontal inflators on the passenger side provided by Takata.
In 2015, Ford recalled 1,725 specialty Lincoln MKT crossovers from 2013 to 2015, including various models that had been upfitted as hearses and limos. The company issued the recall in order to address a vacuum pump relay defect. The relay can crack and leak fuel, which could ignite a fire in the engine compartment. The company says it is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the flaw, but it has received reports of two underhood fires.
Various Lincoln models have also had issues with steering loss. In 2013, Ford recalled 355,000 vehicles from states that use road salt, including 2005-2011 Lincoln Town Car, due to the possibility of steering loss. The road salt could cause corrosion, allowing the bearing to separate in the steering column which can lead to a loss of steering.
Then, in April of 2015, Ford recalled 445,000 vehicles for power steering failure. This recall included the 2011-2013 Lincoln MKS ad MKT, along with the 2011-2012 Lincoln MKZ. The problem in this case stemmed from a faulty electrical connection in the steering gear which can cause power steering assist failure while the car is in operation. Multiple complaints made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report steering loss. Ford says it has received reports of four minor accidents stemming from the defect and no injuries, and plans on either updating software and/or replacing the steering gear in affected vehicles.
In October of 2016, Ford issued a recall for 1,826 2017 Lincoln Continental Sedans which contained faulty headlamps that did not meet “turn signal visibility requirements.” Although there were no reports of accidents or injuries from the issue and most of the affected vehicles were still in the hands of Lincoln dealerships, the recall was a public misstep for the brand, which had just released the newly remodeled Continental to compete with other luxury automakers.
Representation for Colorado Personal Injury Victims
When cars are involved, even small manufacturing or design defects can have enormous consequences. Purchasing a car requires a consumer to put their trust in a large corporation that may not always have the customer’s best interests at heart. Automakers must, therefore, earn the public’s trust through consistent quality and quick responses to potential safety hazards in their products. If they are not living up to this standard, it is up to consumers to hold them responsible. If you have experienced one of the potentially dangerous defects listed on this page, or have suffered in some other way from the carelessness of an automaker, call Jeremy Rosenthal today at (303) 853-2223 or contact him online to set up your free case consultation.