Suzuki sues Consumers Union

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American Suzuki Motor Corp., Brea, Calif., and its parent Suzuki Motor Corp. have filed a lawsuit against Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, charging defamation and product disparagement in reports on the Suzuki Samurai. The suit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, comes after republication of a 1988 CR report that called the Suzuki Samurai sports utility vehicle unsafe. George F. Ball, Suzuki general counsel, said Suzuki filed the suit now because CU "has renewed its unwarranted attack on Suzuki through its January 1996 anniversary issue, its Car Buyers Guide CD-ROM and various online computer services." Suzuki said it sold 77,493 1988 model year Samurai vehicles; the following model year, after the Consumer Reports article, sales dropped to 1,435 units.

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