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Ford under fire for concealing safety tests

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

As the Detroit News reports, Ford Motor Co. has again withheld evidence of safety problems with its SUVs and other vehicles. For Ford, it’s hardly an isolated incident.

Ford has consistently fought mandatory increases in fuel economy for SUVs and other vehicles by invoking fears that higher mileage requirements would result in smaller, more dangerous vehicles. Safety has been used to beat back fuel efficiency regulations. In 2003, EWG’s investigation of Ford's own internal documents revealed a company that is shockingly indifferent to safety risks in SUVs, the very class of gas-guzzling vehicles it most wants to shield from increases in fuel economy standards.

The investigation, Suddenly Upside-down Vehicles, details egregious examples of Ford’s disregard for safety and willingness to commit fraud, including the company’s knowledge of rollover problems with the Bronco II – problems so serious Ford cancelled routine safety tests out of fear for the safety of the test drivers. In anticipation of rollover lawsuits, Ford “sanitized” critical engineering documents before the production of the Bronco II. http://www.ewg.org/reports/upsidedown/index4.php When litigation began to heat up, Ford paid a former company engineer $5,000,000 over eight years to lie in a series of 30 rollover cases.

Related story:

New York Times - Fraud Charged in Rollover Case

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