Ford Motor Co. of Canada must defend a class action suit accusing it of illegally conspiring to violate antitrust laws that restricted the export of lower-priced Canadian-made vehicles into the U.S.
The California Court of Appeal unanimously ruled July 5 that the plaintiff consumers produced enough evidence for trial on their claims, which arise from industry efforts to reduce “gray market” imports of vehicles to the U.S. in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The suit seeks to recover overcharges for California residents who bought new vehicles between 2000 and 2003, said plaintiffs’ lawyer Michael Christian of San Francisco.
However, the court refused to reinstate claims against Ford Motor Co. (U.S.)
Claims against other U.S. and Canadian automakers, the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association had already been settled, dropped due to bankruptcies or dismissed.