How One Recalled SUV Destroyed $45M In Cars, Burned A Massive Ship, And Sparked A Legal Battle Between Ford And BMW

 Friday, May 25, 2018


Mary didn’t know anything was wrong with her old Ford SUV when it was loaded onto a container ship in Europe in mid-2015. But she found out the hard way when it caught fire below deck, taking $45 million worth of other cars with it, causing another $55 million in damage to the vessel and its cargo, and sparking a legal fight between two car companies and the U.S. Department of Justice that remains ongoing. Mary—a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee who was shipping her car to Belgium as part of a relocation—wasn’t aware of the 10 recall notices that went out for the Escape, including two defects that had the potential to start a fire while it was off, according to legal filings and a 2017 summary of an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
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