Shelby GT350 Owners Are Ready to Burn the Blue Oval at the Stake
Apparently, the GT350 isn’t as track ready as expectedby Robert Moore, on
The Ford Shelby GT350 was Ford’s answer to the new Camaro Z/28 and the car Ford enthusiasts had been waiting for. It came with more aggressive exterior styling that reduced aerodynamic drag, a new front splitter, angled ducts in the grille, a vent on the hood, and real vents in the lower fascia that help to keep the front brakes cool under heavy load. It even had a belly pan to help increase air flow through. And, Ford even replaced the 5.0-liter with a 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V-8 that delivers an awesome 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. So, it’s got the credentials of a track-ready car and was marketed as such, but a bunch of owners of this “track-ready” car say it’s not track ready at all and seek financial compensation from the blue oval for being duped into thinking it was.
Apparently, the GT350 will suddenly lose speed and power once on the track. And, in some cases, this can happen in as little as 15 minutes. That doesn’t sound like it makes for a fun day at the track, does it? As the story goes, it has been found that base model GT350s or those equipped with the technology package can overheat due to defective transmissions and rear differentials that overheat without external coolers. As such, the computer detects the overheating and puts the car into limp mode, causing it to lose power and slow down suddenly – something that not only ruins your run at the track but also poses a serious safety issue if there’s anyone close to you when limp mode is activated.
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Getting Down and Dirty
So, how are these owners looking to get compensation from Ford? Well, they’ve tapped into firm Hagens Berman for representation, who has since filed a suit against Ford in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida. For those of you who have been sleeping the past decade, this is the same firm that secured a $1.6 billion settlement against Toyota over a concealed defect, lead the litigation against GM for its ignition switch defects, and has taken the helm of various lawsuits against Volkswagen and Mercedes for the use of emissions-cheating software. There’s no telling what will actually happen as a result of the lawsuit, but Hagens Berman has a good record when it comes to tackling automakers, so I suspect at least something good will come from the lawsuit. After all, you can’t market a vehicle as track ready when it really isn’t track ready, right?
Steve Berman, the managing partner of Hagens Berman, said, 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. 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.”
And, maybe he’s right. Maybe Ford really did dupe its customers into thinking this car was truly ready to go. Then again, maybe it got lazy and didn’t thoroughly test the car before pushing it into dealers, or at the very least, didn’t care about the car going into limp mode. Surely, Ford will try to turn it around in one way or another. Or, maybe Ford was just trying to save some lives at Cars and Coffee. In all seriousness, though, this whole thing sounds sketchy, and I’m curious to see how it all turns out. What do you think? Should Ford be held financially responsible for these reported problems? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang here.