Ford settles lawsuits, unveils tire warranty

DETROIT: Ford is moving aggressively to put the PR debacle of last year's Firestone tire recall behind it.

DETROIT: Ford is moving aggressively to put the PR debacle of last year's Firestone tire recall behind it.

DETROIT: Ford is moving aggressively to put the PR debacle of last year's Firestone tire recall behind it.

Shortly before Christmas, its attorneys settled six law-suits related to Firestone tires on Ford Explorer SUVs. The suits were being handled by a Florida attorney. Ford also gave indications it wanted to settle about 200 other outstanding cases.

In a further goodwill effort, on January 2, Ford announced that it would begin covering tires as part of its new car warranty plan. Previously, it covered everything but tires, which were backed by tire makers.

'A consumer-focused company listens to its customers and they're telling us they want us to take strong steps to ensure tire safety,' Ford CEO Jacques Nasser said in a statement on the new warranty policy.

Susan Krusel, Ford's manager of legal news, said the company's settling of the Florida suits was 'neither unusual or remarkable.'

'All actions are done for the best interests of the parties involved.

Publicity never gets in the way of doing what's right for the customer,' she said.

But Florida attorney Bruce Kaster, who has been suing major manufacturers for more than 20 years, said Ford's efforts to settle cases involving five of his clients were unprecedented. 'I got the very distinct impression they were trying to put this matter behind them,' he said. 'If that's not PR, I don't know what is.'

Kaster added that Ford's decision to settle the suit was 'the logical move - that's why it surprised me.'





Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in