Ford settles ignition suit

DETROIT — After six years of litigation, Ford Motor Co. agreed to extend the warranty on “thick film ignition” modules used in about 22 million vehicles from 1983 through 1995 to cover 100,000 miles of use.

The agreement, along with an estimated $29 million payment for legal costs, settles lawsuits in five states related to the ignition modules. Ford will not have to recall the vehicles or acknowledge that the modules are faulty but will pay for repairs and towing charges and reimburse owners who already had their vehicles repaired.

Critics say vehicles with the ignition modules were prone to stalling without warning, causing crashes and at least 11 deaths.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers speculated the settlement could cost Ford up to $2 billion. Ford calls that figure inflated.

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