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Ford Credit To Exit New York State Vehicle Leasing From July

April 7, 2003

Ford Credit plans to exit vehicle leasing in New York in early July 2003 in response to an outdated law that holds leasing companies responsible for accidents involving their leasing customers, reported the Just-Auto.com Web site. New York's ‘vicarious liability’ law has resulted in large payouts by leasing companies to resolve litigation.

"We are encouraged that the New York Senate has responded to this issue by passing, with bi-partisan support, legislation that would reform vicarious liability law. We fully and actively support the legislative reform effort; however, we need to limit our exposure as it continues under the present law," said Ford Credit executive vice president of North America A.J. Wagner.

According to Ford Credit, finance companies, banks and independent vehicle leasing companies face several billion dollars in potential payouts involving hundreds of open vicarious liability lawsuits. These payouts continue to add to the costs of purchasing, leasing and insuring vehicles.

According to Ford Credit, consumers will not be able to lease Ford or Lincoln Mercury vehicles from Ford Credit in New York after the pullout; consumers who have already purchased a Red Carpet Lease – a balloon payment lease that passes title of the vehicle to a registered owner rather than the finance company – will not be affected.

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