In November 2014, Ford recalled more than 200,000 cars, vans and trucks to fix defects including gas leaks, stalling, and air bag sensors. A few months earlier, the federal government launched an investigation into door problems in Ford Fiesta models. Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm detail these government actions and the defects that caused them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just recently upgraded its investigation into the Ford Fiestas (model years 2011 through 2013), due to hundreds of reports of door latch problems. The doors on these vehicles can unexpectedly open, often while the car is in motion. The agency is upgrading its investigation to determine the scope, frequency and consequences of this defect.
There have been multiple reports of injury from these door latch problems, along with more than 450 unique reports submitted to Ford. One of these reports stated that the rear driver-side passenger door flew open while the car was going 45 miles per hour, with the owner’s 13-year-old daughter in the back seat. The girl nearly fell out of the car, yet the Ford dealership refused to fix the issue.
About 155,000 Ford Fiestas were recalled in 2012 over side air bag issues. The air bags would not deploy in the event of a crash when the front passenger seat was empty, putting anyone in the rear of the car at risk.
The 2014 Ford recall actually encompassed five different recalls for separate issues. Most of the recalled vehicles are F-150 pickup trucks and Flex family vehicles, both model year 2014. These vehicles have defective passenger airbags similar to the Ford Fiestas. The seat weight sensors in these cars prevent air bags from inflating during crashes.
In addition to the F-150 and Flex, other Ford models being recalled include:
• Crown Victoria 2005 – 2011 • Mercury Grand Marquis 2005 – 2011 • Lincoln Town Car 2005 – 2011 • Transit Connect 2014
If you were involved in an auto accident that was caused be a defective vehicle, you may be able to file suit against the automaker or auto part maker. These are product liability lawsuits, which differ from ordinary personal injury claims in regular accidents. Generally, in these types of cases, plaintiffs must prove three things:
1. The vehicle or one of its parts was unreasonably dangerous and defective, leading to your injury.
2. The defect caused your injury while the vehicle was being properly used in the way the vehicle was intended.
3. The vehicle was not substantially changed from its original version.
Every vehicle sold in the United States must be “crashworthy,” meaning it must be able to protect drivers and passengers in a crash. If an airbag fails to deploy, the seatbelt breaks open, or any other unusual circumstances occurs during an accident, there is a change your car is defective.
It is in everyone’s best interest to report these defects as soon as possible. Not only will it protect your rights as an injured victim, but it may also spur actions by the federal government to investigate the defects and potentially save lives.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured or killed in a car, truck, motorcycle, or bus accident, contact our team ofauto accident lawyers immediately. We provide free legal consultations to injured victims in all 50 states.