Shelby GT350 Mustang owners are suing Ford. Well to be more specific, owners of the base model or tech package GT350s are suing Ford. Just last week on March 22, 2017, they filed a class action lawsuit against Ford claiming their transmissions and differentials were overheating during track use and sustained high speeds. It’s very annoying to have your new “track ready” Mustang overheat and fall into limp mode, but this lawsuit is unwarranted.
Here’s the language directly from The Lawsuit: “According to the firm’s investigation, Ford has sold these Shelby GT350 vehicles as track cars built to reach and sustain high speeds, but Ford has failed to disclose that the absence of a transmission and differential coolers can greatly diminish the vehicle’s reported track capabilities. Shelby owners are reporting that this defect causes the vehicle to overheat and go into limp mode, while in use, even when the car is not being tracked. If you own an affected Ford Mustang and have experienced limp mode, fill out the form to find out your consumer rights to compensation.”
When Ford released the GT350 you could purchase a based model or tech package and maybe splurge for the truly track capable GT350R. Ford offered an optional track package for these original GT350s that included a transmission and differential cooler. Kind of like the Z51 package on the new Corvette Stingrays. Today the track package is standard on all GT350s.
Now, we’re all reasonable people and when we shop for a car and see something labeled “track package” it’s usually not something the manufacturer dreamed up to make money. Sure it does make them more money, but they have a point and purpose. So when someone buys a car they think is track capable but doesn’t get the package designed for a race track should we feel bad for them when their car is “untrackable?”
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Then there are these “sustained high speeds.” How higher were they? How long were they sustained? Also, how did Ford fail to disclose “the absence of a transmission and differential coolers can greatly diminish the vehicle’s reported track capabilities” when there was clearly an optional track package? That’s like buying a burger and getting angry when there’s no bacon on it. I can hear the argument now: well the bacon was an optional extra, right there on the menu.
It sucks their cars aren’t performing up to owner’s expectations, but it’s hard to feel bad for someone who clearly didn’t read the options list. Driving a car that’s in limp mode is very dangerous. But driving at “sustained high speeds” is also dangerous. It’s quite a situation for Ford and I am very curious to see the outcome. But this is a reminder that just because your car looks track capable doesn’t mean it is. You know what gets hot on a race track? Everything. And without the proper coolers no car could survive. So anyone who bought a GT350 with the intention of tracking it should have known better.