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Old 03-10-2003, 21:08   #1 (permalink)
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Green Group Blasts Ford For Bronco Ii Dealings

TheCarConnection
Jim Burt
3-11-03

The Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy group, Monday charged with Ford Motor Co. with conspiracy in connection with Ford Bronco II litigation and regulatory oversight and said it was petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this week to re-investigate the vehicle for design defects. NHTSA cleared the Bronco II in 1990 after investigating the vehicle following hundreds of cases of rollover and serious injury. The EWG, which has achieved some credibility on Capitol Hill on issues of water and air pollution and food supply contamination, pulled together documents from dozens of Bronco II cases, including engineering tests and depositions and claim that Ford went against the advice of its own engineers who wanted the vehicle made wider and with a lower center of gravity; paid a former Ford executive $5 million to testify "for Ford" in dozens of cases; and destroyed key documents that would have shown NHTSA in its 1990 review that a design defect had been allowed to reach the final production model. Ford officials said Monday that the EWG report was fueled by plaintiff lawyers, and said the company was not taking the charges seriously. But the charges come from a group that was successful in changing farm subsidy policy last year with one of its research projects. The attack on Ford comes at a time when the automaker is trying to head off a proposed hike in light truck fuel economy; defend itself in personal injury cases involving its Econoline 15-passenger van, Crown Victoria sedan, as well as the Explorer. An EWG official said the motivation for issuing the report was to cast doubt on Ford's credibility when it says, along with other automakers, that SUV fuel economy can't be increased without compromising safety. Ford closed down at $6.99 a share Monday, just nine cents off its 52-week low.
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:18   #2 (permalink)
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Ford's Response:

Plaintiff attorneys have used these same allegations in cases that have been heard by four courts over the past two years and in each case the court has ruled in Ford's favor.

Ford Motor Company conducts its participation in legal proceedings with absolute integrity. We will continue to defend the safety reputation of our vehicles and defend against outrageous allegations made against our company.

Ford is a leader in developing and introducing new technology to continually improve the safety of our vehicles. Our vehicles have an exemplary safety record spanning many years and many billions of miles of real-world driving.
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