Ford's ads like to promote the company's strong relationship with safety leader (and Ford subsidiary) Volvo, as in this PR piece for the Ford Freestyle: "And Freestyle is packed with industry-leading safety technology pioneered by Ford and Volvo, including an exclusive three-row Safety Canopy™ side curtain air-bag system."

Well, Ford's safety links with Volvo are proving to be a double-edged sword in U.S. courtrooms. Lawyers suing Ford because of deaths and injuries in crashes are asking why Ford isn't using Volvo's safety-oriented designs and crash tests across the board in Ford's vehicles.

Ford representatives seem to be trying to explain away the real-world differences by suggesting that Volvo is a higher-priced brand, appealing to people willing to pay more for extra safety features.

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