A California judge today affirmed a recall order covering nearly 2 million
vehicles, saying that the auto maker concealed "a dangerous condition."
The ruling, which applies only to vehicles sold in California, was based on a lawsuit filed on behalf of 3.5 million current and former Ford owners in the state. The plaintiffs claim that the vehicles stall because wrongly placed ignition devices were exposed to excessive heat and stress.
The recall order, which is the first ever made by a U.S. judge, means the issue would now go to a court-appointed official who will determine the details of when and how the recall should proceed. Ford plans to appeal the ruling.
The company is already involved in the recall of 6.5 million
tires, which were used on some Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating dozens of deaths possibly linked to the tires.
Shares of Ford were recently down 1.5%, or 38 cents, to $24.75.