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THAI COURT ORDERS FORD MOTOR TO COMPENSATE CUSTOMERS FOR TRANSMISSION MISHAPS

BANGKOK, Thailand Sept 22 (NNN-Bernama) -- A Thai court on Friday ordered Ford Motor Company to pay 291 customers a total of about 23 million baht (US$720,000) in redress for selling cars equipped with faulty transmissions, Xinhua news agency reported.

The South Bangkok Civil Court has handed down a verdict ordering the multinational automaker to pay customers damages caused by three of its models that were found to have the defective clutch and gear systems.

A total of 308 buyers of Ford Fiesta and Focus cars cheered with joy as the verdict was handed down at the court.

The verdict was billed as the country's first big class action case involving altogether 308 plaintiffs.

The court ordered compensation range between 20,000 baht (US$616) and 200,000 baht (US$6,161) each, plus a 7.5 per cent interest rate a year, for repair costs and lost time.

Ford Motor Company was also ordered to pay their lawyer a 150,000-baht (US$4,621) fee and an 800,000-baht (US$24,638) reward for winning the case as required by law.

However, the court ruled that 12 of the plaintiffs would not be entitled to the compensation as they remodified their cars by installing LPG gas cylinders or had not taken their cars for inspections of clutch and gear system.

The court ruled that the transmission mishap was "unsafe and substandard".

All 308 co-plaintiffs and their lawyers were present for the reading of the verdict.

None of those taking part in the joint lawsuit on Friday was reporting injuries.

Ford said in a statement that it respected the court's verdict.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the Powershift transmission problems and we reiterate that we will work earnestly to take responsibility for fixing them according to our customer service procedures," the company said in a statement issued in Thai.

Source: NAM News Network

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