FINDLAY, Ohio (March 7)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said it is "pleased" with the consolidation of 17 pending class-action lawsuits in a Columbus, Ohio, federal district court. "The motion to consolidate the state class-action lawsuits was filed by Cooper in order to promote efficiency and justice," the Findlay-based company said in a prepared statement. "We believe these class-action lawsuits are without merit and not in the consumers´ best interests. We are disappointed that our resources—time, money and people—must be spent in defending these lawsuits." Plaintiffs´ attorneys in charge of the suits claim Cooper used faulty production practices on as many as 55 million tires. Cooper, however, "stands by the quality of (its) products and the integrity and dedication of (its) employees," according to the statement.