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 |  Mar 15 2012, 5:01 PM

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The Ford Motor Company had a lawsuit issued against it today for allegedly selling F-150 trucks and E class vans over a 10-year period with defective fuel tank linings.

According to Automotive News, Ford issued a secret technical service bulletin to dealers advising them of the issue back in 2007. Neither a recall nor an attempt to fix the problem was ever publicly announced or discussed by the company.

Now, a lawsuit has been filed against Ford by Coba Landscaping and Construction Inc and its principal Galo Coba for fraud, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment. The company is seeking compensatory, punitive and treble damages.

If this case picks up steam, expect countless others to jump onboard and file suits of their own. The secret technical service bulletin also said, “hundreds, if not thousands” of customers have experienced the defect.

The faulty lining inside the gas tank flakes off and eventually ends up clogging the fuel lines, causing sudden power loss, unintended bucking or kicking and possible engine stall.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Dec 04 2011, 2:06 PM

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Zipcar’s growing success in the rental car business has encouraged the company to expand to cargo van rental services.

Aiming its sights at van rental companies, U-Haul and Budget, Zipvan will have a pilot release in the San Francisco and Oakland area, beginning with a fleet of only six Ford E-150 vans in three San Francisco neighborhoods and expanding by early January to 15 vans throughout the bay. The birthplace of the alternative rock sub-genre, grunge, Zipvan hopes to better serve young college students, local musicians, bands, and artists alike.  Zipcar has long built its business by catering to college students.

While Zipvan’s starting price of $14.75/hour or $99 a day may not always undercut U-Haul, Zipvan believes its flexible options and convenience in ordering a van will ultimately make their business model more appealing. Zipvan members can skip extensive paperwork and simply log onto their account and reserve a van via four simple taps on their smartphone.

Another key differentiation between Zipvan and U-Haul is the convenience of renting either by the hour or by the day. What’s more, U-Haul and Budget usually charge a base rate while the renter will be responsible for purchasing gasoline. Zipcar, on the other hand, will include gasoline, insurance and up to 180 miles of travel per day in a complete package.

Finally, Zipcar will not apply extra fees for drivers aged 21-23. Budget Rentals, on the other hand, add on $18 per day for young drivers.

If the pilot proves successful, Zipvan will expand its service to other North American markets in 2012.