As another costly Ford Explorer rollover lawsuit finally bogs to a close, the attorneys have again emerged standing on top of the flotsam. This suit, filed in California on behalf of consumers in four states who leased or bought 1991 to 2001 Ford Explorers, alleged the rollover problems associated with their vehicles diminished resale values (the lawsuit excluded personal injuries or wrongful death claims). The final settlement, authorized by a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge, awarded each of the class members $500 discount coupons towards the purchase of a new Ford SUV, or $300 towards another Ford vehicle.

While the attorneys argued the lawsuit was valued at $500 million (assuming that nearly one million consumers would flock to dealerships and cash-in those nifty coupons for new Fords), the settlement is really only costing the automaker about $27 million. All told, the attorneys will pocket an impressive $25 million of the bounty, while another $950,000 is donated to the Automotive Safety Research Institute for "research into protecting passengers in rollover accidents." The balance (at most $846,500) will go to the 1,693 class members who applied for the $500 certificates before the April 2008 cutoff. In case you were wondering... as of this June, only 75 of the vouchers ($37,500 worth) had been redeemed.

[Source: The Associated Press (via Yahoo) | Image: Alex Wong/Getty]

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