Ford extending the deadline for Mercury dealers to appeal cash offers

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

The deadline for Mercury dealers to appeal cash offers meant to compensate them for the termination of the brand has been extended by Ford Motor Co. Ford is discontinuing the Mercury brand in the fourth quarter.

The offers were made on June 3 but the original deadline was June 18 (15 days after the offer). Ford received several complaints and so it decided to permit dealers to submit an appeal up to 15 days before the termination date of their franchise.

A Ford spokesman said that the deadline is moved to Dec. 16 for a majority of the 1,712 Mercury franchises.

Dealers said that Ford is offering dealers cash settlements that range from a few thousand to almost $1 million.

The Ford Policy Board, which consists of three Ford employees, is tasked to receive the appeals. Some dealer attorneys say that if a dealer skips the appeal, that could weaken a subsequent suit over the settlement offer.

Mike Charapp, partner at Charapp & Weiss in McLean, Va., talked about “a potential roadblock” that depends on what the court does.

He said that a dealer who doesn’t go through the policy board is not instantly cast aside. But the dealer would “certainly” be able to avoid potential problems if he approaches the policy board first.

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