Consumers in California, approximately 414,000 in total, have brougt a major lawsuit against Ford Motor Company alleging that Ford deceived them about the safety of the once best-selling Ford Explorer SUV. Explorers built in the 1990’s were prone to roll over for several reasons, including a high center of gravity, the lawsuit alleges. In a May 24, 2007 article, The Sacramento Bee reported that the plaintiffs are requesting punitive damages as well as being compensated for the decreased value of their Explorers because the facts surrounding the Explorer’s safety became widely known to the public. The article further stated that the Explorer was marketed by Ford as a replacement for the family station wagon, but the 1990’s era Explorers had a tendency to flip over during emergency or evasive maneuvers at speeds of greater than 40 miles per hour.
The plaintiffs’ lead counsel reported that the case boiled down to what Ford told the public, and what it did not tell the public. Between 1990 and 2000 Ford made profits of about $2.135 billion on the sale of Explorers in California alone, according to the plaintiffs. The class of plaintiffs includes California residents who bought, owned, or leased a 1991 through 2001 model year Explorer, and the drivers must still possess the Explorer, or they must have sold or terminated their leases for the Explorer after August 9, 2000.