Friday, June 11, 2004

Ford will pay to settle lease overcharges

The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. - Thousands of Ford Motor Credit customers could receive $100 each as part of a settlement related to the company's vehicle leasing practices.

The agreement likely will cost Ford Motor Credit and dealerships more than $6 million, the company said Thursday, although Ford's estimates differed from some projections provided by attorneys general of the 39 states expected to be involved in the deal. Costs would include an estimated $1 million in restitution fees to customers.

Dealerships will cover most of the costs, Ford Motor Credit spokesman Daniel Jarvis said.

The settlement affects certain Ford customers who ended a lease before its expiration date and subsequently bought the vehicle. Investigators found that the customers faced charges that were sometimes higher than the actual balance owed in the lease.

The dealer would keep the extra amount charged to customers.

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