Motor Co. agrees to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by plaintiffs in four states that claim the Explorer SUV is prone to rollovers.
The settlement covers some 1 million people in California, Connecticut, Illinois and Texas, the Associated Press reports.
Plaintiffs in the case further allegefalsely advertised the SUV as safe, although the auto maker knew they had a tendency to flip. The plaintiffs claimed the Explorer’s reputation for rollovers harmed the SUV’s residual value.
Ford in 2000 fought a highly publicized battle with tire maker Bridgestone Firestone North America Tire LLC over allegations tire tread separations led to more than 250 deaths and many more injuries. Ford claimed the tires were faulty, while Firestone said a defect in the Explorer’s design led to the accidents.
Hundreds of lawsuits were filed against Ford over the rollovers, and the auto maker was forced to recall millions of faulty tires at a cost of more than $2 billion. Ford declines to reveal how much it paid to settle earlier claims.
Under terms of the latest settlement, Ford will allow plaintiffs in the class-action suit to apply for $500 vouchers toward the purchase of a new Explorer, or $300 vouchers for other Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles. The settlement applies to ‘90-’01 Explorers.
Explorer owners will be notified in late December and early January that they can apply for vouchers via a website.