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From Products Liability Law Daily, August 1, 2013

Ford agrees to pay $17.35 million for failing to timely report defect

By Joseph Bichl

Ford Motor Company agreed to pay a $17.35 million civil penalty to resolve government allegations that it did not timely notify owners, purchasers, and dealers, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of a safety defect found in certain older model Explorers which ultimately lead to a recall (In Re: Ford Motor Company, Recall No. 12V-353, June 28, 2013). The fine is reportedly one of the largest single fines ever paid under U.S. auto safety law.

Background. In August 2012, Ford recalled 529,719 model year 2001 through 2004 Escape vehicles equipped with 3.0L V6 engines and speed control. According to the recall, inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable connector could result in a stuck throttle when the accelerator pedal was fully or almost fully depressed.

Settlement agreement. Ford and NHTSA settled the matter on July 26, 2013, when Ford made a one-time payment of $17.35 million. Under the agreement, NHTSA made no formal findings with respect to Ford’s possible violations of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Safety Act) regarding the timeliness of Ford’s actions leading to the recall. However, the agency retained the right to later assess civil or criminal liabilities should the need occur. For its part, Ford denied that it violated the Safety Act or its regulations.

Companies: Ford Motor Company

MainStory: TopStory MotorVehiclesNews

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