Ford Pays $51.5 Million To Settle SUV Tire Safety ClaimsDec 23, 2002 | CarAndDriver.com Ford said that they will pay $51.5 million to settle state government claims that it had "misled consumers about the safety of its sport-utility vehicles and failed to disclose known tire failure risks," Reuters reported.
The claims against Ford stemmed largely from Firestone tire failures, many in rollover accidents involving the Explorer sport-utility vehicle. Ford denied any wrongdoing.
The settlement "resolves allegations of deceptive trade practices relating to the sales and advertising of Ford sport-utility vehicles," Iowa's attorney general, Tom Miller, said in a statement. However, the agreement does not affect private legal claims against Ford.
"The agreement marks the end to all government investigations relating to the tire recall in the United States. In February 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its investigation of the Ford Explorer, concluding the Explorer handles like comparable SUVs before, during and after a tread separation," Ford said in a statement.