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Ford Sued Over Auto Lease Fee

May 13, 1999| From Bloomberg News

HOUSTON — Ford Motor Co.'s finance unit has been sued by a Texas couple who claim they and thousands of other consumers were deceived into paying a car lease termination fee that wasn't disclosed in their lease agreements.

In the suit filed in federal court in Houston, George and Sandra Washington say Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Credit Co., the finance arm of the world's No. 2 car and truck maker, shouldn't have charged them a $250 "disposal" fee when they turned in the 1997 Ford Expedition they leased for two years.

Officials for Ford Motor Credit said they were still reviewing the Washingtons' suit, adding that disposal fees are assessed under some leases used in Texas.

"That fee is clearly disclosed" in those leases, said Ford spokeswoman Sonia Mishra. The Washingtons claim in their suit, though, that the disposal fee is not specifically mentioned in their Ford lease agreement.

Ford's shares closed up 44 cents at $64.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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