These words are familiar to me: "XYZ Company is vicariously liable under the legal theories of agency and respondent superior". This is akin to Ford being liable for something that happened at your local dealership even though Ford was not directly involved. Since they have a franchise contract with the dealership they can be found to have some liability for the actions of the dealership.
A lawsuit will usually contain unnamed defendants "whether real or fictitious" who may be named at a later time. This is just to cover all bases for someone or some entity which is identified during the discovery phase of the lawsuit.