Ford Settles Explorer
Ford Claims the Explorer SUV is Safe. Ford cites Rollover Rate Study
July 19, 2001
WASHINGTON - Ford has reached an out of court settlement in a
lawsuit filed by the family of two teenaged girls who were killed when
the Explorer they were riding in rolled over. The accident happened nine
years ago. The settlement is worth $22 million US.
Lawyers for the families argued that the
Explorer was prone to rollover accidents because its centre of gravity
was too high. In this case, a 1992 Explorer rolled over after the driver's
side rear wheel well was struck by a Plymouth Sundance while traveling
about 90 kilometres per hour on an expressway in Chicago. Four teenaged girls were thrown from the
Explorer. Two died and two were seriously hurt. The vehicle was equipped
with Michelin tires, not the Firestone tires that used to be standard
equipment on most Explorers. The lawyer for the families notes that the
accident did not involve a tire losing its tread.
An official with Ford defended the safety
of the Explorer. "Safety data show that Explorer is one of the safest
vehicles on the road in all accident types,'' said Ford spokeswoman Kathleen
Vokes. ``The Explorer is 27 per cent safer than a passenger car and is
19 per cent safer than other compact SUVs in a rollover accident.''
Written by CBC News