Automotive manufacturing facilities are enormous; I’m talking millions of square feet of factory floors and thousands of people working. If you have ever tried to coordinate something with a large group of people, you know that despite your best efforts to plan things out, the sequence of events doesn’t always play out like you’d hoped. Well, the people who operate car companies are only human, and every now and then they make mistakes as well. However, when manufacturers roll cars out of the plant with design defects people can get hurt, or even killed. That means that at any given time throughout the year, it’s probably a safe bet that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its hands full with one recall or another.
After a lengthy negotiation with government agencies, Chrysler has announced that it will recall Jeep Grand Cherokees between the model years of 1993 and 2004, as well as Jeep Libertys produced between 2002 and 2007. The recall will affect some 2.7 million vehicles, and will address design defects that have the potential to start fuel tank fires. According to a statement given last week by Chrysler, dealers will be inspecting vehicles and upgrading the SUVs rear structures if needed. The NHTSA reports that as many as 51 people may have died in fiery accidents since 1993.
For most people, the extent of their experience with automotive recalls is limited to getting a notification that their vehicle may pose a potential hazard. Yet, the majority of people driving around Chicago and greater Illinois know very little about what goes on before the recall is made. The NHTSA is constantly on the prowl for design defects, and in many cases, it is automotive manufacturers themselves who are trusted with notifying customers that they are at risk. Once a manufacturer is aware of a potential problem, they have a little less than a week to notify the NHTSA of the problem, and the agency then conducts various analyses to determine if a recall is necessary. (Washington Times; NHTSA)
Responsible parties in a design defect case can range from a large vehicle manufacturer to a small tire manufacturer, but when accidents do happen, you need a great team of lawyers to fight for your rights. Many of our clients deal with debilitating and lifelong injuries because of faulty products, and in some cases people can even be killed by dangerous products. In one such case, a car manufacturer’s improperly designed fuel delivery system led to a fuel fed fire that killed the occupants of their vehicle. Our lawyers were able to secure a $3 million settlement for the family, allowing them to pay for final arrangements and expenses, and holding the company responsible for its negligence.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident because of a defective product, feel free to call us for a free consultation with our attorneys.