Ford Settles SUV Ad Case For $51m

24 December 2002

Ford Motor Company is to settle complaints about its advertising from US state attorneys general at a cost of $51 million (€49.5m; £31.9m).

In a case led by the office of the Florida attorney general, the car colossus is accused of not clarifying risks associated with its sport-utility vehicles in its ads. The Ford Explorer, the biggest selling SUV in the world, has been involved in thousands of rollover accidents.

Cash from the settlement will be split between the fifty states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The firm claims the complaints are relevant to SUV advertising at all car manufacturers. Vice-president Dennis Ross said the new measures would make Ford the industry leader in supplying consumers with information on the vehicles.

The auto giant also agreed to include messages in ads featuring aggressive driving manoeuvres warning consumers not to emulate them. The disclaimers will read: “Professional driver. Closed course. Do not attempt.”

Data sourced from: USA Today; additional content by WARC staff