Most lug nuts are one piece of hardened steel, but Ford chose a design that puts an aluminum cap over a steel core. The cap is notorious for swelling and delaminating when it gets hot. It’s also a great place to trap moisture and encourage corrosion. The end result? A lug nut that’s either too big for a standard wrench or fused so tight you need a drill, welding torch, and 7 Hail Marys to remove it.
Ford wants the lug nut lawsuit tossed because "the plaintiffs never allege the swollen lug nuts have ever caused physical injuries to any person or damage to any property."
Ford also says the plaintiffs talk about swollen lug nuts as if the lug nuts should be indestructible and the warranties should last forever, then wrongly "attempt to cast their product-defect allegations as warranty, fraud and unjust-enrichment claims."
Ford has been sued for switching to a 2-piece lug nut design that features an aluminum cap. When exposed to the elements, the cap swells in the heat, cracks and delaminates, and corrodes from moisture.
This leaves owners and lessees who get flat tires often stranded on the roads without the ability for even tow truck drivers to remove the swollen lug nuts. This means a tow to the shop just to have the lug nuts removed and the tire replaced.
435,000 Escape SUVs have a subframe that can rust and cause the lower control arm to break off. If your control arm is dragging on the ground, steering suddenly gets a lot more difficult -- go figure. The problem affects 2001-2004 Escape SUVs that are sold or registered in the "salt belt" states, where large quantities of road salt are used during the winter. The states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C.