USA: Ford Credit to Exit Leasing In Rhode Island
DEARBORN, Mich., June 30, 2003 -- Ford Credit today announced that it plans to exit automobile leasing in Rhode Island in October 2003, in response to an outdated law that holds finance companies responsible for accidents involving their leasing customers.
Rhode Island's vicarious liability law has resulted in significant payouts by finance companies to resolve litigation. With companies such as Ford Credit and several others canceling leasing programs, consumers will be faced with fewer options and more expensive vehicle financing options. Currently consumers pay more for leasing and insurance because of vicarious liability laws.
"We realize that the Rhode Island legislature is considering legislation that would remedy the situation. Ford Credit fully and actively supports this legislation and, if it is signed into law, we will continue to lease there," said June Awad, Ford Credit Regional Manager.
Consumers will not be able to lease Ford or Lincoln Mercury vehicles from Ford Credit in Rhode Island after October 1, 2003. Consumers who have already purchased a Red Carpet Lease will not be impacted.
A growing list of supporters of vicarious liability reform now includes the United Auto Workers (UAW), Automobile Association of America (AAA), the Rhode Island Auto Dealers Association and Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers.