Ford Motor Company has agreed to pay $US51.5 million to settle lawsuits by all 50 US states that claimed the vehicle manufacturer’s advertisements for Explorers and other sport utilities failed to warn consumers about rollover dangers, The Detroit News reported on Friday.
The newspaper, citing those familiar with the agreement, said the settlement being announced on Friday would include a promise by Ford to share safety technology with the federal government and add stronger language to SUV commercials.
The Detroit News said future Ford SUV commercials depicting high-risk driving will include a disclaimer that reads: “Professional driver. Closed course. Do not attempt.” Only the “Do not attempt” portion is new while the commercials will not warn of possible rollovers, the newspaper added.
The Detroit News said the award would be shared by the 50 US states plus Washington D.C., the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
“Unfortunately, this settlement does little for consumers,” Clarence Ditlow of the Centre for Auto Safety told the Detroit News, adding: “The Explorer is still subject to rollover and roof crush. Warnings haven’t worked.”
The Detroit News noted that the agreement came a year after Bridgestone Corp.’s Firestone unit agreed to pay $51 million to settle allegations by the states that defective tyres contributed to Explorer accidents.