Ford Motor Co. agreed yesterday to reimburse current and former owners for repairs on millions of cars and light-trucks prone to stall because of a flawed ignition system. The deal could cost the automaker as much as $2.7 billion, according to an estimate from the plaintiffs, though that amount was disputed by Ford.
The settlement ends years of litigation and will pave the way for millions of current and former Ford owners nationwide to be reimbursed for repairs and related expenses, such as towing fees.
"This will not be something that will have a material effect on the company's financial position," said Ford attorney Richard Warmer.
But it will not remove the estimated 12 million Ford vehicles nationwide equipped with the ignition system from the road. The systems, which have been proven to stall without warning, were originally installed in 20 million vehicles.
Ford has maintained that its ignition devices and vehicles are safe and admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.