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August 21, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ford Sued Over Alleged Part Defect: Lawyers nationwide have filed six lawsuits against Ford Motor Co., alleging that the auto maker hid a defect that can cause engines to suddenly quit in millions of cars and light trucks, exposing occupants to rear-end collisions and lethal failures of brakes and steering. In court filings, lawyers are asking for a recall of millions of vehicles with the alleged defect. They say the problem has been implicated in at least two crashes that killed three people and seriously injured two others, and that Ford has faced at least 14 lawsuits from people claiming injuries caused by failures of the allegedly defective part. Ford called the allegations "bunk" and said it corrected any such problems long ago. The suits claim that the Dearborn, Mich.-based auto maker knowingly manufactured faulty ignition systems that can cause stalling in vehicles sold under the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury names and produced for the 1983-95 model years. The suits ask that Ford reimburse those consumers who have paid to replace the allegedly defective part and provide free replacements to the rest. The suits were filed in California, Maryland, Washington and Illinois.

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