Major Auto Recalls Highlight Risks of Defective Products | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A fatal accident blamed on a sticking throttle prompted a mid-July 2012 recall of 11,000 2013 Ford Escape SUVs. Less than two weeks later, reviews of company and law enforcement records turned up reports of at least 12 other crashes caused by unexpected and uncontrolled acceleration and nine injuries. Now, more than 485,000 Escapes for the model years 2001-2004.

The safety issue is similar to problems with sticking accelerators and trapped gas pedals that prompted recalls of more than 4 million Toyota vehicles in 2009. And, because Mazda Tribute SUVs share many design elements and components with the Escapes, that automaker has issued a recall of some 217,000 Tributes sold as new between 2001 and 2008.

Both major automotive recalls came at the same time as an announcement from Michelin that nearly 841,000 tires sold under the BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brand names needed to be removed and replaced immediately. The recalled tires put drivers of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and passenger vans at risk for accidents because their tread can wear quickly and unevenly, then split or burst.



The Virginia Dangerous and Defective Products Lawyers’ Perspective

In one sense, it is good that Ford, Mazda and Uniroyal are alerting drivers to the injury and death risks. On the other hand, the recalls raise questions about why the companies allowed poorly designed and constructed vehicles and tires out of their factories and onto roads to begin with. Also, for Ford, why did it take 11 years to address a safety problem with SUVs sold in 2001?

Attorneys with our Virginia (VA) personal injury law firm have helped several victims of dangerous and defective products recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries. In no case have we been able to find reasonable answers to the simple question of why unsafe products reached the marketplace.


Potentially Helpful Info

Defective and dangerous products come in all shapes and sizes, from cars to cribs and from prescription drugs to building insulation. If you or a family member has been injured, sickened or killed by an unsafe product, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options by reading this article.


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