Ford, plaintiffs finalize manifold suit settlement

Sedan owners who had to replace part will receive $735; others get extended warranty
December 17, 2005 DETROIT(AP) -- Ford Motor Co. has finalized a settlement that requires the
automaker to pay at least $735 each to sedan owners who had to replace an intake manifold, attorneys for the plaintiffs said Friday.
Ford also is extending warranty coverage on the plastic part to seven years to cover vehicle owners who haven't replaced the manifold. The class-action lawsuit covered a total of 1.8 million vehicle owners, according to Morrow Cater, a spokeswoman for the plaintiffs.
An intake manifold is a pipe that supplies a mixture of fuel and air to the engine's cylinders. Vehicles included in the settlement are the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car from the 1996-2001 model years; the Mercury Cougar, Ford Thunderbird and Ford Mustang from 1997; some Mustangs from the 1998-2001 model years; and some Ford Explorers from the 2002 model year.
Plaintiffs claimed the intake manifolds are prone to premature cracking, which could lead to coolant leakage and expensive damage to the engine.
"Until this settlement, those who owned or leased these cars had to bear the brunt of the manufacturer's mistake," Mike Ram, one of the plaintiffs attorneys, said in a statement.
Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes confirmed the settlement was reached. Vokes said Ford doesn't know how much the settlement will cost since it's unclear how many people will seek reimbursement.
"Although we believe the class action was without merit, we are pleased that we were able to negotiate a settlement that will provide additional value to our customers," Vokes said.
Owners who replaced their intake manifolds within the first seven years of ownership can take the vehicles to a dealer and obtain reimbursement whether or not they have a receipt. The vehicle must be brought to a dealer by March 16.
Ford shares were up 13 cents to close at $8.30 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ford intake manifold class action site,
Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 1970 Mach 1 351C @
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