Ford aids California wildfire recovery effort (GM, Toyota, Honda and Chrysler too)

Ford maintains a large operation in Irvine, California, which happens to be an area greatly affected by the recent Southern California wildfires. While Ford's facilities are out of danger, many Southern Californians have lost their homes and are in need of assistance. Ford has sprung into action with a relief effort, much like automakers did immediately following the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina. The Blue Oval is donating 11 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks and nine Expeditions to the fire and rescue departments within the ravaged areas. In addition, the automaker is also contributing $100,000 to the San Diego Red Cross. Employees of the company are being encouraged to volunteer their time to the relief cause, as many of them no doubt have friends and family whose lives are now permanently affected by the wildfires. Finally, those Ford owners who need time to recover from the disaster can also defer up to two vehicle payments. Follow the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Ford]

UPDATE: General Motors has also pitched in to help the relief effort. Here's what GM has offered.

  • $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross (ARC)
  • The ARC already operates a fleet of donated HUMMER H3s
  • Matching employee donations to the ARC through Nov. 30
  • Free Crisis Assist service for OnStar subscribers in designated areas
  • GM Goodwrench will replace air filters free of charge in designated areas
  • Work with customers on case-by-case basis concerning vehicle payments
UPDATE 2: Toyota has announced that it's donating $2 million to the American Red Cross, one of the largest donations the ARC has received thus far for the wildfire relief effort.

UPDATE 3: Honda has announced that it's donating $250,000 to the American Red Cross, as well as assessing the need for donating additional vehicles, Honda generators and other supplies.

UPDATE 4: Chrysler LLC and Chrysler Financial have announced that they're donating $100,000 each to the wildfire relief effort for supplies that will be distributed by the Rescue Task Force.


  • Ford Motor Company donates trucks and SUVs to Southern California fire departments
  • Ford Motor Company Fund contributes $100,000 to San Diego Red Cross
  • Ford Volunteer Corps will assist in the ongoing recovery effort
  • Ford Motor Credit Company is offering customers impacted by the wildfires the opportunity to delay some vehicle payments

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 25 – Ford Motor Company today pledged to assist in the wildfire relief and recovery efforts in Southern California through the donation of money, vehicles and volunteer manpower. In addition, Ford Motor Credit Company is offering customers affected by the wildfires the opportunity to delay some vehicle payments.

Ford Motor Company immediately is donating 20 specially equipped vehicles -- 11 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks and nine Ford Expedition sport utility vehicles – to fire and rescue departments in some of the areas most devastated by the fires.

"Many Southern California Ford employees and Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers share the concerns of their neighbors as they also have been affected by this devastating fire," said Hal Dewsnap, Ford Lincoln Mercury Los Angeles regional manager. "Local fire and rescue officials told us they have an urgent need for heavy duty work trucks and SUVs. We located the 20 specially equipped vehicles at local dealerships and they are on their way to local fire and rescue squads."

Additionally, Ford Motor Company Fund is contributing $100,000 to the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

"The San Diego Chapter Red Cross has a critical need for medical, food, water and other supplies, as well as counseling support for hundreds of residents forced from their homes," said Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund. "We are responding to this need immediately."

Longer term, Ford employees in Southern California will be called upon to volunteer time to assist in community recovery and relief efforts through Ford Volunteer Corps, a corporate-wide program established by Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford after the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.

In addition, Ford Motor Credit announced today that it would offer some payment relief to customers affected by the wildfires through the Ford Credit Disaster Relief Program. The program allows customers to delay one or two monthly payments, resuming their regular payment schedules when their situations improve.

The offer is available to customers who are leasing or have purchased vehicles from Ford Credit, Jaguar Credit, Land Rover Capital, Mazda American Credit, PRIMUS or Volvo Car Finance. Ford Motor Credit customers who are eligible for the Disaster Relief Program will be sent letters with instructions on how to register.

Customers also may call the toll-free number listed for their brand to register for the Ford Motor Credit Disaster Relief Program:

  • Ford Credit: 1-800-723-4016
  • Jaguar Credit: 1-800-945-7000
  • Land Rover Capital Group: 1-877-507-2264
  • Mazda American Credit: 1-800-945-4000
  • PRIMUS Financial Services: 1-800-945-4000
  • Volvo Car Finance: 1-800-770-8234

General Motors Relief Efforts In Response To Fires In Southern California

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - General Motors and the GM Foundation are putting in place several efforts to help those persons impacted by the devastating fires that have raged across Southern California.

The GM Foundation has contributed $100,000 to the American Red Cross (ARC), which also has a fleet of GM-donated HUMMER vehicles available to provide relief in natural disasters. In addition, 12 Southern California HUMMER dealerships are standing by to assist with relief efforts.

"Responding to natural disasters is a priority of GM's corporate outreach, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the American Red Cross again to aid those Californians who must overcome hardships caused by the recent fires," said Rod Gillum, GM Vice President, Chairman of the GM Foundation. "GM employees will be able to make contributions to the relief efforts and those contributions will be matched by the GM Foundation through Nov. 30, 2007."

GM OnStar has activated its Crisis Assist program for OnStar subscribers. Crisis Assist allows subscribers in the designated crisis area to take advantage of all OnStar services, at no additional charge, regardless of their service plans. OnStar offers routing assistance, help with hotel reservations and will even download personal calling minutes into vehicles so that the subscribers can connect with family/friends to tell them they are OK. OnStar's recent partnership with the American Red Cross also allows subscribers access to ARC's shelter information.

Given the impact that the devastating fires may have on air quality, GM Goodwrench is extending an offer to replace air filters, free of charge. GM vehicle owners who live in the affected area can stop by their local GM Dealership and ask to have their engine air filters replaced. Go to for more details.

"GM, its dealers and its employees have a long tradition of responding to emergencies where we work and live," said Susan Docherty, General Manager of GM's Western Region. "We are quickly mobilizing our human, technological and financial resources to bring as much relief and support as possible to our families, friends and neighbors, who have all been affected in some way by these tragic wildfires."

GMAC Financial Services will work closely with all its impacted customers in auto finance, insurance and mortgage units. GMAC Auto Financing has established a specialized call center for its automotive and dealer wholesale customers to assist with case-by-case needs including possible payment extensions. GMAC Insurance has already deployed a team of claims adjusters to Southern California to assist insurance customers with property claims. GMAC ResCap will offer mortgage relief counseling and dispatch its "Mobile HOPE" operation, a group of specially trained face-to-face customer service specialists.

GMAC customers are encouraged to contact these customer service locations: GMAC Insurance 800-468-3466; GMAC Mortgage 866-262-5363; GMAC Auto Financing 800-200-4622 or their branch offices where possible.

American Red Cross Recognizes Toyota USA for Lead Contribution to the California Wildfires

October 25, 2007 - Washington, DC - Toyota announced today that it will be donating $2 million to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts for the California wildfires. This is one of the largest financial gifts the Red Cross has received for the California wildfires. Toyota is also donating Toyota lift trucks and palette jacks that will be used to unload and distribute relief supplies.
"Toyota is a valued partner of the American Red Cross. We are extremely grateful for this generous donation that will enable the Red Cross to provide life-saving support to the affected communities in southern California," said Mark W. Everson, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. "This donation will be critical in helping the Red Cross provide essential relief in the immediate aftermath of the fires."

"It's our hope that aid may quickly reach those who fell victim to the California wildfires," said Jim Lentz, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. "We owe a debt of gratitude to courageous firefighters and disaster relief organizations like the American Red Cross."

Toyota's contribution will assist Red Cross relief efforts throughout Southern California. As wildfires continue to burn across Southern California, the Red Cross is providing residents, firefighters and first responders with shelter, food, water, clean up and comfort kits, and medical and mental health services. The Red Cross has nearly 3,000 workers
on site in Southern California, including volunteers from all 50 states. To date, the Red Cross has provided the following services:

- Opened 24 shelters providing displaced residents with a safe place to stay
- Mobilized tens of thousands of cots, blankets, comfort kits, and clean-up supplies
- Volunteers are staffing 75 Emergency Response Vehicles, providing hot meals and snacks to residents, firefighters and first responders
- Red Cross mental health counselors are available to help residents and emergency workers in the affected areas manage the stress and fear that accompanies all disasters

Toyota has been a Red Cross partner in disaster relief for a number of years. Historically, Toyota has actively supported the Red Cross in its efforts to assist those impacted by disasters nationwide through financial and product contributions. During Hurricane Katrina, Toyota donated $2.6 million to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the California wildfires, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

Honda Supports Southern California Wildfire Relief Efforts

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced today a pledge of $250,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to assist the Red Cross in providing shelter, relief and recovery support to those affected by the Southern California wildfires.

In addition, American Honda is working with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to assess and identify its need for emergency assistance materials and resources such as Honda-made vehicles, generators, and other products, and will donate these materials as requested.

"The American Red Cross and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services are on the front lines in this tremendous effort to turn back the fires, and Honda salutes their efforts and their dedication," said Tetsuo Iwamura, President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda will provide a 100 percent match of any funds donated to the American Red Cross or other applicable organizations by the approximately 7,000 associates (employees) of American Honda and its subsidiaries.

American Honda has supported the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund through several disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, September 11 and the California wildfires of 2003. Honda's support efforts have included funds as well as materials such as the donation of generators and all-terrain vehicles.

Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines, personal watercraft, and now, aircraft. Founded in Japan in 1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. The company has invested more than $9 billion in its North American operations with 14 major manufacturing facilities, employment of more than 35,000 associates, and annual purchases of more than $17.6 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America.

Chrysler LLC and Chrysler Financial Join Forces with The Rescue Task Force to Support Southern California Relief and Recovery Efforts

  • The Chrysler Foundation and Chrysler Financial to donate $100,000 each to The Rescue Task Force's California fire relief
  • Organization to provide support to California citizens in need and rural fire departments
  • Chrysler employees to travel to California to distribute supplies
Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 26, 2007 -

Chrysler LLC and Chrysler Financial today announced plans to support the relief and recovery efforts for the thousands of Californians displaced by the fires and the fire departments still battling the blazes in Southern California. The company's philanthropic arm, The Chrysler Foundation, and Chrysler Financial will each donate $100,000 that will go toward much-needed supplies for suffering communities in the area and relief for the rural fire departments that have been stretched to their limits.

"These fires have been devastating to the people of Southern California, and we at Chrysler want to do our part to help them put their lives back together," said Jason Vines, Vice President - Communications for Chrysler LLC. "We have heard from local relief workers that there is an urgent need for support in some of the area's less-advantaged communities, and that many of the rural fire departments are in desperate need of additional funding to keep fighting the fires."

Chrysler and Chrysler Financial volunteers will arrive in California on Tuesday, October 30 to coordinate the donations and the distribution of the supplies.

The Rescue Task Force, based in El Cajon, California, is a non-profit group committed to alleviating suffering and providing developmental aid to those who have been marginalized by geography or economic deprivation. The organization often goes where others do not go to help those who are outside the scope of conventional relief providers. Rescue Task Force also responds rapidly with medical and other immediate aid to victims of man-made and natural disasters world-wide.

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