UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BEFORE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
COMMISSIONERS: Robert Pitofsky, Chairman
Mary L. Azcuenaga
Janet D. Steiger
Roscoe B. Starek, III
Christine A. Varney
_________________________ ) In the Matter of ) DOCKET NO. C-3679 ) FORD MOTOR COMPANY, ) a corporation. ) DECISION AND ORDER ) ) _________________________)
The Federal Trade Commission having initiated an investigation of certain acts and practices of the respondent named in the caption hereof, and the respondent having been furnished thereafter with a copy of a draft of complaint which the San Francisco Regional Office proposed to present to the Commission for its consideration and which, if issued by the Commission, would charge respondent with violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act; and
The respondent, its attorney, and counsel for the Commission having thereafter executed an agreement containing a consent order, an admission by the respondent of all the jurisdictional facts set forth in the aforesaid draft of complaint, a statement that the signing of said agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by respondent that the law has been violated as alleged in such complaint, or that the facts as alleged in such complaint, other than jurisdictional facts, are true and waivers and other provisions as required by the Commission's Rules; and
The Commission having thereafter considered the matter and having determined that it had reason to believe that the respondent has violated the said Act, and that a complaint should issue stating its charges in that respect, and having thereupon accepted the executed consent agreement and placed such agreement on the public record for a period of sixty (60) days, and having duly considered the comment filed thereafter by an interested person pursuant to 2.34 of its Rules, now in further conformity with the procedure prescribed in 2.34 of its Rules, the Commission hereby issues its complaint, makes the following jurisdictional findings and enters the following order:
1. Respondent Ford Motor Company, is a corporation organized, existing, and doing business under and by virtue of the laws of the State of Delaware, with its offices and principal place of business located at The American Road, in the City of Dearborn, State of Michigan.
2. The Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction of the subject matter of this proceeding and of the respondent, and the proceeding is in the public interest.
IT IS ORDERED that respondent, Ford Motor Company, a corporation, its successors and assigns, and its officers, and respondent's agents, representatives and employees, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division or other device, in connection with the labelling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale or distribution of the "MicronAir Filtration System" as configured in the 1995 Lincoln Continental or 1995 Mercury Mystique or any substantially similar product in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in the Federal Trade Commission Act, do forthwith cease and desist from making any representation, directly or by implication, that such product removes virtually all pollutants. For the purposes of this Order, "substantially similar product" shall mean any automotive cabin air filter which is an electrostatic filter, consisting of layers of non-woven fabric, with at least one layer that has been electrically charged.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, Ford Motor Company, a corporation, its successors and assigns, and its officers, and respondent's agents, representatives and employees, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labelling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale or distribution of any automotive cabin air filter, in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in the Federal Trade Commission Act, do forthwith cease and desist from making any representation, in any manner, directly or by implication, about the efficacy of any such product in reducing or removing pollutants, unless such representation is true, and at the time of making such representation, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence, that substantiates such representation. For purposes of this Order, "competent and reliable scientific evidence" shall mean tests, analyses, research, studies or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that has been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that for three (3) years after the last date of dissemination of any representation covered by this Order, respondent, or its successors and assigns, shall maintain and upon request make available to the Federal Trade Commission for inspection and copying:
A. All materials that were relied upon in disseminating such representation; and
B. All tests, reports, studies, surveys, demonstrations or other evidence in its possession or control that contradict, qualify, or call into question such representation, or the basis relied upon for such representation, including written complaints from consumers.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any proposed change in the corporate respondent such as dissolution, assignment or sale resulting in the emergence of a successor corporation, the creation or dissolution of subsidiaries or any other change in the corporation which may affect compliance obligations arising out of the Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent shall, within ten (10) days from the date of service of this Order upon it, distribute a copy of this Order to each of its officers, agents, representatives or employees engaged in the preparation, review or placement of advertising or other materials covered by this Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order will terminate on August 22, 2016, or twenty years from the most recent date that the United States or the Federal Trade Commission files a complaint (with or without an accompanying consent decree) in federal court alleging any violation of the Order, whichever comes later; provided, however, that the filing of such a complaint will not affect the duration of:
A. Any paragraph in this Order that terminates in less than twenty years;
B. This Order's application to any respondent that is not named as a defendant in such complaint; and
C. This Order if such complaint is filed after the Order has terminated pursuant to this paragraph.
Provided further, that if such complaint is dismissed or a federal court rules that the respondent did not violate any provision of the Order, and the dismissal or ruling is either not appealed or upheld on appeal, then the Order will terminate according to this paragraph as though the complaint was never filed, except that the Order will not terminate between the date such complaint is filed and the later of the deadline for appealing such dismissal or ruling and the date such dismissal or ruling is upheld on appeal.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent shall, within sixty (60) days from the date of service of this Order upon it, and at such other times as the Commission may require, file with the Commission a report, in writing, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which it has complied with this Order.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark
ISSUED: August 22, 1996