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Old 01-07-2003, 06:15   #1 (permalink)
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Hearings to decide if Ford must pay parking fines for scofflaw lessees

Tuesday, January 7, 2003
By Joel Kurth / The Detroit News


DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. and the city of Detroit remain at odds over a mountain of unpaid parking tickets that total almost $1 million.

The Michigan Court of Appeals released an opinion Monday that Detroit had the legal right to try to collect more than $861,000 in parking fines from cars leased through Ford Motor Credit Co.

Ford is balking at paying the tickets racked up by motorists who leased the Ford vehicles from 1995-99.

"We weren't in control of the vehicles," said Ford Credit spokesman Mike Jarvis, who called the ruling a victory since it requires hearings on who had the cars when the tickets were issued. "We shouldn't have to pay the tickets."

In years past, the city had targeted Ford and other automakers if lessees didn't pay delinquent tickets. Detroit made $9.5 million in traffic tickets in 2001, city records show.

"It isn't right. If you get a ticket in a leased vehicle, you ought to be responsible for it," said Carolyn Young, 43, who works downtown.
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