Venezuela Victims Focus on Ford Liability

October 5, 2000

More than 50 accident victims directed angry protests against the Ford Motor Company in Venezuela on Wednesday at a meeting arranged by the government to discuss compensation for the damages resulting from accidents involving the Ford Explorer equipped with allegedly defective Firestone tires.

Ford representatives attended the talks, and have offered to compensate victims, while denying Ford’s responsibility for the accidents. According to Associated Press reports, Ford submitted documentary evidence at the meeting, “confirming the stability and maneuverability of Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles.”

Bridgestone/Firestone representatives refused to attend, stating that “to do so would imply an admission of guilt that is not ours,” according to the AP.

Ford representatives insisted the car was safe, and that all the problems were related to tire failure, but one Venezuelan Explorer owner took issue with Ford’s position, telling the AP that even after she changed tires she still doesn’t trust the vehicle, and that “No insurance company wants to take responsibility for my Explorer.”

35 Venezuelans have already filed lawsuits in the U.S; against Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone seeking compensation for damages.

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