Articles Posted in Defective Vehicles

Published on:

There are various types of claims that can be filed in a civil tort lawsuit.  Briefly, according to the Second Restatement of Torts, a tort is an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which the courts may impose liability.  This definition is the one used by judges and is taught to every law student in America.  Essentially, this definition means that when someone does something that causes an injury to another person, and this is the type of conduct for which the court will impose a remedy, a case can be filed on this basis.

Products liablity There are various different types of torts, and there are also what are known as intentional torts and negligence torts.  For the purposes of personal injury law, we are mainly talking about negligence torts, though, there can also be a lawsuit for intentional torts like assault and battery, false imprisonment (civil kidnapping), arson, conversation (theft) and various others. Continue reading

Published on:

A widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging her husband’s death while at work on an aerial lift doing tree removal was preventable, had it not been for alift defective lift.

Plaintiff, as representative of her husband’s estate, alleges the manufacturer of that aerial lift is liable for designing and selling defective equipment that was unreasonably dangerous.

Legal Newsline reports the product liability lawsuit stems from a fatal work accident that happened in May 2015, when decedent, working for a tree removal and maintenance service, was working as part of a team with two other men using an aerial lift to remove a tree from the site. According to reports of the incident, decedent was on the ground gathering up debris while a co-worker was working behind the vehicle when he felt it suddenly – and oddly – shake. When the co-worker investigated further, he discovered that the boom arm had collapsed. The third co-worker, who had been operating the lift, was ejected, while the aerial lift bucket violently struck decedent. He died of his injuries even before emergency medical responders arrived.  Continue reading

Published on:

An alleged vehicle defect of the throttle caused a motorist to suffer personal injuries when the car rapidly decelerated without warning, according to a proposed class action lawsuit filed in a federal court in California recently. speedway

The lawsuit further asserts the auto manufacturer, Ford, was aware of this defect for years and failed to warn consumers about it.

Plaintiff asserts that the defective electronic throttle body control systems decelerate both suddenly and unintentionally, causing a potentially fatal error. The design flaw allegedly extends not just to the 2012 Ford Explorer, which is what plaintiff was driving at the time of this reported incident, but also to other models of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Rather than own the error and make consumers aware of it, plaintiff says, defendant manufacturer has publicly downplayed the potential danger and has refused to offer to fix the alleged defect or to reimburse vehicle owners for the cost of necessary repairs. Continue reading

Published on:

Tesla Motors has come under fire in the last year after a series of collisions – one fatal – that involved the use of its Autopilot assisted driving system. The question is whether Tesla improperly deployed and marketed this system, which despite the name still does require substantial involvement from the driver. steering wheel

The aggressive “beta-test” of its Autopilot self-driving technology forced government regulators to step in, with input from other car manufacturers, to consider how human drivers should interact with increasingly more sophisticated vehicles and whether the advancements were simply too much too soon. A recent analysis by Consumer Reports magazine urged Tesla to disable the automatic steering feature until either the software is updated to require drivers’ hands on the steering wheel or else until no driver involvement is required at all.

CNN reported federal auto safety investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cleared Tesla of having an inherent vehicle defect resulting in a fatal car accident in Florida in which Autopilot system was engaged, but failed to detect an oncoming white tractor-trailer against the brightness of the mid-day sky. The Autopilot system was built to keep a vehicle in its own lane, and the car is capable of braking on its own. The feature is designed to be used on limited access highways with on- and off-ramps and not, as decedent driver was using it, on roadways where cars or trucks can cross in front of the Tesla.  Continue reading

Published on:

Over the past year, Volkswagen has been forced to issue a number of recalls for serious vehicle defects that pose risk to consumer safety.  This is not only involving Volkswagen models, but also Audi vehicles, which the company also manufactures. This latest round of recalls involves nearly 600,000 vehicles and is the result of two distinct defective systems.  This is not related to the defective anti-lock brake issue that already caused a major recall in January 2017.

carAccording to the Daily News, this latest round of recalls involves 2013 to 2017 Audi sedans and SUVs that have a 2.0-liter engine equipped with a turbocharger. In these vehicles, the electric coolant pump can become blocked while the engine is running.  If this occurs, the engine can overheat.  Normally, when a car overheats, the car will start billowing a foul smelling steam from under the hood and a temperature light will come on.  This will normally cause the car to stall.  However, in this case, the blocked coolant system can result in the car overheating to the point where it ignites into a vehicle fire, which can obviously result in serious injury or death. Continue reading

Published on:

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. Continue reading

Published on:

In Jackson v. Ford Motor Company, a man was killed when he lost control of his 2012 Ford Focus and was in a serious car accident. His wife was also a passenger in the car the day of the fatal accident.  While she was not killed in the crash, she did sustain serious personal injuries.

carDuring the accident, after the driver lost control of the car, the vehicle reportedly moved rapidly across all lanes of travel and crossed over the center lines into oncoming traffic.  At this point, the car collided head-on with a large tow truck commonly known as a wrecker. While the driver did not survive the impact, paramedics and other first responders were able to treat his wife on the scene, so she could be transported by medevac helicopter to a local level-one trauma center.  Her injuries were considered life-threatening at that time, and many of them led to permanent medical issues. Continue reading

Published on:

In Hinrichs v. General Motors of Canada, Ltd., an appeal before the Supreme Court of Alabama, plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a 2004 GMC pickup truck when he suffered a serious injury to his spinal cord. He was reportedly a victim of a drunk driver.

According to court records, plaintiff was in the pickup truck being driven by his friend when another driver allegedly ran a stop sign and collided with them.  That motorist was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.  When the collision occurred, the pickup truck in which plaintiff was riding flipped over and rolled twice, resulting in substantial damage to the vehicle.  The point of the collision was the passenger door where plaintiff was sitting.  Fortunately, he was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the serious car accident, sodriver he was not ejected from the vehicle.  When not wearing a seat belt, ejections are common and can often result in death. Continue reading

Published on:

According to a recent news feature from USA Today, General Motors has just announced they will recall 4.3 million vehicles as result of a problem with the airbag control system.  There has been one death as well as several injuries linked to this particular airbag issue.

dashboard-air-grill-1192876-225x300The problem is related to the software that controls airbag deployment in the front of the vehicle.  The software issue caused the system to go into test mode when the vehicle was in motion as opposed to when it was first turned on and all of the system runs a test and diagnostic mode.  While it is not exactly clear how this happens based upon reports, the computer may have be able to disengage the seat belt retention mechanism when the airbag was in test mode. Continue reading

Published on:

Facing hundreds of personal injury product liability lawsuits over defective ignition switches, General Motors this year has faced down the first of thousands of these cases. Surprisingly, the company thus far has been fairly successful. The first three cases ended in their favor, with two of them dismissed (one after plaintiff was deemed not credible) and a third following a trial in which jurors decided the vehicle in question was defective and unreasonably dangerous, but it wasn’t the cause of plaintiff’s injuries. driver

Now, the company has chosen for the first time to settle one of these bellwether cases. That’s critical here because it could well determine how the company proceeds with other pending product defect lawsuits – particularly those that ended in fatality.

The auto manufacturer has recalled some 2.6 million of its small cars with the faulty ignition switch issue, which causes power to be suddenly cut from a moving vehicle. Not only is that especially dangerous because it causes a driver to lose control of the vehicle, it also shuts down critical safety systems, like airbags and brakes.  Continue reading