A lawsuit alleging a defect in Ford panoramic sunroofs can proceed after it partially survived Ford’s motion for summary judgment.
The plaintiffs, Jacobs and Jessica Beaty, allege Ford did not disclose a defect in their 2013 Ford Escape panoramic sunroof that caused it to spontaneously shatter. They claim in 2017, Ms. Beaty was driving at 55 or 60 miles per hour with her daughter in the back seat when she heard “this loud just gunshot sound, explosion, and then I was covered in glass. It was cutting my hands. It was in my hair. I got some under my glasses.”
The lawsuit claims the panoramic sun roofs installed on Ford Escapes have large, thin, curved panels of tempered glass fastened onto the vehicle frames in a way that causes the glass to absorb the stresses of vehicle movement or other environmental factors. They say the alleged defect affects all Ford vehicles that include panoramic sunroofs, and Ford has known of this defect since 2007.
The court’s May 26, 2022, order partially granted, denied, and deferred Ford’s motion for summary judgment. Among other rulings, the court rejected Ford’s argument that it was entitled to summary judgment on all claims because the plaintiffs lacked evidence Ford knew about the alleged defect at the time of sale. The court found a triable issue of material fact as to whether Ford knew of the alleged defect with respect to the plaintiffs’ 2013 Ford Escape. The court agreed with Ford’s challenge to the plaintiffs’ request for replacement sunroof damages beyond any out-of-pocket expenses they incurred from replacing the sunroof, finding they did not show they incurred such additional damages.
The Court scheduled a jury trial for August 2022.
The Court previously denied a motion for class certification.
The case is Jacob Beaty, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., case number 3:17-cv-05201-TSZ, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
You can read the Court's order below: