A major class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co., claiming that the auto maker lied to consumers about the safety of its Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle models, threatens to send the struggling corporation over the edge, according to an article in The News & Observer. The suit, set for trial next month, is being brought on behalf of about 414,000 Explorer buyers in California who say Ford officials engaged in deceptive advertising by marketing Ford as a safe vehicle when they knew that it was more susceptible to roof crush and rollovers.
Ford’s trial team claims that this lawsuit threatens the $2 billion Ford earned in the 1990s from Explorers it built and sold in California and puts the automaker on the brink of complete collapse. Plaintiffs say Ford should be penalized irrespective of the financial impact because lives have been lost and major injuries have resulted because of “Ford’s deception.”
Personal injury attorneys and experts alike agree that the Explorer is one of the most dangerous vehicles ever produced in the country. Research has consistently shown that these SUVs have a tendency to flip over even when speeds are not remarkably high. Ford decided to continue with its faulty design because the company’s executives knew that it was simply more profitable to do so. To make matters worse, the company produced a marketing campaign to sell the Explorer as a safe and reliable vehicle for daily use. The class action lawsuit alleges further stating that Ford’s deception cost California’s car buyers about $500 million when their vehicles’ values plummeted once the defects became more widely known.
According to experts who were consulted for this lawsuit, the value of each of these 414,569 SUVs dropped from $1,000 to $1,300 beyond normal depreciation. The lawsuit does not seek specific damages. According to the News & Observer article, the judge has broad discretion to order Ford to pay, if he finds that the auto maker did in fact violate state consumer protection laws. This lawsuit is the first of its kind to go to trial and is being closely watched, the article states.
At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, we agree that the Explorer is one of the more dangerous vehicles ever made. Among the most dangerous vehicles, Ford was the manufacturer of many of them. For Ford to now be whining about their financial difficulties if they are to be held accountable for their wrongdoing should have as much weight as you or I complaining to the IRS that paying our taxes will infringe on our life style. Ford made their choices to put profits over safety, let them live with their choice.
We have seen the impact of poorly designed vehicles on our clients, who’ve lost loved ones, or limbs or have been paralyzed or rendered quadriplegic. We’ve seen visible evidence of the vehicle’s weaknesses and defects during crash tests. We’ve seen how the flimsy roof caves in causing severe head and spinal cord injuries and in several cases, death. We have conducted our own crash testing, spending over a million dollars, so that we can produce our evidence to a court and jury.
The auto maker could be in financial hot water and in the brink of total loss. I look at it as karma – you reap what you sow; if you chose to deceive your customers and choose profits over people’s well-being, you pay for it. That said, no amount of money that Ford is made to pay can replace the lives lost because of such deception. No amount of damages can bring back the prime years of people who were disabled because of this defective vehicle.
If you’ve been injured in a Ford Explorer rollover or any other auto accident, which you believe was caused by a defective vehicle, call me at 1-800-259-6373 for a free consultation. This is the only way to weed out unethical, irresponsible manufacturers who think they can get away with anything.