WASHINGTON (Jan. 9)—Starting Dec. 22, U-Haul International Inc. stopped renting trailers to owners of Ford Explorers because of litigation fears.
A U-Haul spokeswoman confirmed the fact, but said the company officials who could comment further were unavailable. Ford Motor Co. became a target for litigation in the wake of the August 2000 recall of Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires, most of which were original equipment on Ford Explorers.
U-Haul, a Ford spokesman said, has "been very clear that this is not based on any safety concerns or technical issues, but strictly on litigation issues." The fact that U-Haul will still rent trailers to mechanically identical Mercury Mountaineers underscores this, the spokesman said, adding that no one has mentioned tires in this action. "We hope all the recalled Firestone tires have long ago been replaced, and the current models have Goodyear tires," he said. Bridgestone/Firestone officials could not be reached for comment.