CARACAS, Venezuela (May 24)—A spokesman for Ford Motor de Venezuela said that rumors of a Venezuelan government ban on Ford Explorers are just that, at least for now. Reports from various news sources say that Samuel Ruh Rios, head of the Venezuelan consumer protection agency INDECU, will ask the Venezuelan Public Prosecutor for a ban on Explorer sales because of suspected defects which caused an estimated 50 accidents and more than 35 deaths. Reuters quoted Ruh Rios as saying that of the 50 Explorers that crashed, only one had Firestone tires. "We don't know the sources of his allegations, and we don't know where he got his technical data," the Ford spokesman said. "We have provided thorough and complete data to the Prosecutor's office, which is in charge of this matter anyway...We are fully confident that the information we have provided indicates that we have built a safe vehicle" The accident statistics Ruh Rios quotes are particularly frustrating, the Ford spokesman said, because there are no official accident statistics in Venezuela and Ford has no way of knowing the details of what INDECU has. "We have not seen this evidence, although we have asked INDECU for it," he said. Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. circulated news stories about a possible Venezuelan Explorer ban May 23 to bolster its contention that the Explorer is at least partly to blame for tread separation and rollover accidents involving Explorers equipped with Firestone tires.
Ford denies rumors of Venezuelan Explorer ban
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