DETROIT (March 28, 2001) — Ford Motor Co. is facing at least $590 million in lawsuit claims related to the Firestone tire recall and rollovers of its Explorer sport-utility vehicles, the company disclosed recently.
The $590 million relates to lawsuits that have specified damages, Ford said. However, the company added in its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the majority of the "significant number" of lawsuits filed against Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. did not specify dollar amounts.
Additionally, Ford said most of the Firestone-related class-action suits have been filed on behalf of individuals who have never been in an accident, and seek to expand the scope of the recall to include other tires.
Ford also has been served with shareholder derivative and securities fraud lawsuits alleging the board of directors failed to inform themselves adequately about the quality of Firestone tires, failed to take action regarding the design of the Explorer, failed to report problems related to the Firestone tires, failed to stop using the tires, failed to recall all affected tires in a timely manner, and failed to handle the recall effectively.
In the past, Ford has said the Firestone tire recall could cost it $500 million in lost production and other factors.