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Volkswagen Recalls Antilock Brakes

Volkswagen is no stranger to recalls.   Most people are likely familiar with the major scandal that came to light when federal regulators discovered the company was producing cars that would downgrade engine performance on “low emission” diesel vehicles during emissions checks at a environmental inspection stations.

carAs it turned out, the cars were quipped with software as part of their on-board diagnostics (OBD) package that would detect when the vehicle’s emission levels were being tested and respond with a reduction in engine output so the vehicle could pass.  This resulted in billions of dollars in fines and refunds for the company itself and several employees.While it may seem strange, our Boston products liability attorneys can explain that a company is considered a “jural person” for the purposes of litigation.  This means that the company itself can actually be named as civil and criminal defendant.  In terms of criminal prosecutions, the company can be charged with a crime and actually convicted.  While they obviously cannot send a company to jail, they can issue fines levy other types of penalties, which is what is happening in this case.

While this recall did not affect the safety of a vehicle, there are recalls due to manufacturing defects that can involve a serious risk of injury or death. According to a recent news article from Agrinews, Volkswagen has now agreed to issue a recall on over 135,000 Volkswagen and Audi motor vehicles.  Volkswagen manufactures these two brands in addition to Porsche vehicles.  In this recall, the company said that it was discovered that the anti-lock brake may disengage and the system may fail whenever the car automatically activates its electronic stability control (traction control) system.

Anti-lock brakes, which are on most vehicles these days, work by pulsing the brakes on and off in rapid succession whenever the driver slams on his or her brakes.  The reason for this is that when a driver slams on the brakes, they will cause the wheel to quickly stop spinning.  While this is the point of brakes, the problem occurs when the vehicle has enough forward momentum so that the vehicle will keep moving forward despite the fact that the wheels are not spinning.  This means that he wheels are essentially skidding over the road service, and the tire tread is not doing anything.  When this happens the driver has effectively lost control of his or her vehicle and it can skid in any direction.  This can, and often does, result in a serious car accident.  The antilock brake prevents the wheels from locking by letting them roll on and off, which allows the tires to grip as they are intended.

If you are injured as a result of a manufacturing defect, your attorney would likely file what is known as a products liability action in addition to standard claims of negligence.  The products liability claims in Boston typically include claims for manufacturing a defective or dangerous product as well as claims for failure to warn of known danger.

Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

VW issues recall on antilock brakes, January 22, 2017, Agrinews

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