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Category: Car Defects

Car Parts Suppliers Waking Up after Takata Airbag Recall?

By Brian Chase on January 19, 2015 - No comments

airbag-defectiveCar parts suppliers are stepping up quality control efforts and the traceability of their components in the wake of an unprecedented wave of auto safety recalls and huge fines against manufacturers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Many suppliers seem to be investing in new and improved equipment to better automate defect detection and are assigning more employees to do part checks. For example, Daicel Corporation, which manufactures airbag inflators, has invested millions of dollars to enhance its system for tracking inflators shipped to customers.

The Move to Improve Quality

The airbag inflators are the explosive devices that pump up the airbag in the event of a crash. Daicel has apparently acquired the capability of carving letters data onto tiny metal parts such as when and where the parts were made. Daicel used to attach bar codes to many parts, but some pieces were too small to do so. Company officials say their priority is to be able to immediately identify the range of potentially problematic products, should a safety issue arise.

Aisin Seiki Company, the world’s fifth largest automotive supplier, is also spending tens of millions of dollars to boost quality. It traditionally relied on experienced employees to detect and fix issues, but now the company has purchased new devices to catch that problem and cut the defect rate by two-thirds. These moves were largely prompted by the Takata airbag recall that led to the recall of millions of vehicles manufactured by various automakers. The explosive airbags were linked to several deaths and scores of injuries.

Auto Product Liability Issues

It is about time that these parts suppliers put these measures in place to ensure consumer safety. The reality of the auto industry is that safety devices such as airbags, seatbelts and other vehicle components are made by these global suppliers. That’s why traceability of the components is an important issue.

If you have been injured as the result of a defective auto part, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the auto part maker as well as the car manufacturer. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages. Families of deceased victims can also seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In such cases, it is particularly critical that victims and families contact an auto defect law firm that has the resources to thoroughly and independently investigate vehicle defects and hold negligent automakers accountable.


Ford Recalls Vehicles For Fuel Pump Defects

By Brian Chase on January 18, 2015 - No comments

ford vehicle recallFord has issued a vehicle defect recall for select 2014 models of the Ford Escape and 2015 models of the Lincoln MKC.

According to a report in The Car Connection, some of those vehicles may have fuel pump defects that could cause the devices to fail in traffic.

Documents filed with NHTSA show that contamination, due to improper nickel plating of certain components in the fuel pump, may cause excessive pump friction, potentially resulting in fuel pump failure.

This could happen at any time, which means that owners might find suddenly that their car won’t …Read the rest »


Subaru Recalls Vehicles To Fix Corroded Brakes

By Brian Chase on January 12, 2015 - No comments

Subaru RecallSubaru is recalling nearly 199,000 vehicles for the second time because the first recall was not successful.

According to a report on Carcomplaints.com, in July 2014, Subaru recalled 660,000 vehicles to repair rusted brake lines that could cause a complete loss of braking.

That recall included vehicles that were originally recalled in April 2013 for the same brake like issue.

Now, 199,000 of the vehicles recalled in July 2014 need to be fixed again.

The models included in this recall are the …Read the rest »


Ford Recalls Lincoln SUVs for Faulty Ignition

By Brian Chase on January 8, 2015 - No comments

Ford is recalling about 13,500 2015 Lincoln MKC vehicles because drivers are shutting them off by mistake. According to a news report on CNN Money, drivers are mistakenly touching the crossover SUV’s push-button ignition button while the car is driving. The MKC has buttons to put the car in different gears as opposed to a traditional gear shift. However, drivers who are reaching for the “S” button to put the vehicle on “sport” mode are sometimes hitting the adjacent start-stop button.

This button is also right next to the touch screen that controls the radio, Bluetooth phone control and the navigation system. According to a letter from one car owner to federal regulators, a passenger reaching for the radio had pushed the on-off button accidentally. This caused the car to come to a sudden stop as if he had slammed on the brakes. When the recall begins, Ford will remove the location of the start-stop button and reprogram the power train controls to repair the problem. Ford officials say they are not aware of any crashes of injuries that have occurred as a result of the problem.

The Danger of Vehicle Stalling

When cars are inadvertently shut off suddenly when they are in motion, there is a serious safety hazard. This problem is at the center of the General Motors ignition switch recall, which has been linked to at least 42 deaths. In GM’s case, the design flaw was in a key ignition rather than a push button. GM has been accused of covering up these serious ignition defects for more than a decade. The issue is the subject of a criminal investigation.

Auto Product Liability Issues

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a dangerous or faulty auto, please remember that you have legal rights. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families that have lost loved ones can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Victims or families in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced product liability attorney who has successfully handled similar cases against large automakers.


Some Victims of Deadly GM Ignition Defects Got No Justice

By Brian Chase on January 5, 2015 - No comments

GM Ignition Defect RecallThe New York Times reports in a powerful article how several families that lost loved ones to deadly General Motors ignition defects did not get relief even from the civil justice system, often the last recourse for victims of defective products. The Times gives the example of 18-year-old Natasha Weigel’s family members who could not get lawyers to take the case because “the value of her life in a lawsuit seemed too small to justify the expense and risk of litigation.”

Lives Were ‘Not Worth It?’

In Weigel’s case, an inquiry was done. A police investigator found that the car’s airbags had not deployed when it swerved off the road and plowed into trees killing Weigel and another teen in 2006. The investigation found that the car’s ignition switch had powered off seconds before the accident and that GM had already received reports of similar incidents, pointing to a potential defect. But Weigel’s family fell through the legal cracks because of cold, hard numbers.

The maximum recovery for the loss of society in Wisconsin was $350,000 and that wasn’t worth it for the law firm because of the time and expense they would have to put in to fight a heavyweight like GM. The family of the other teen, Amy Radmaker, was also not able to find a lawyer to take the case unless they financed the case themselves.

So far, 42 people are known to have died in crashes linked to the defective ignition switch and both GM and federal safety regulators have been widely criticized for having known about these dangerous vehicle defects, and done nothing about it for more than a decade, putting consumers’ lives in grave danger. Bisnar Chase successfully represented the family of Shara Lynn Towne, who died in the first known GM ignition defect case. We’ve seen first-hand the devastation defective autos can cause in terms of catastrophic injuries and irreparable losses.

State Laws Have Hurt Consumers

Under the guise of tort reform, decades ago, large corporations and insurers have pushed state lawmakers to pass measures that would cap awards for noneconomic damages. They said such caps would prevent people from bringing frivolous lawsuits. Many states have since capped awards for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering and have limited punitive damage awards.

In California, there is a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. These caps, regardless of the type of case, prevent seriously injured victims and their families from getting the justice they deserve – as evidenced in the cases involving GM ignition defects. Our legal system has failed these victims. However, it makes a powerful argument to change state laws so that these injustices do not recur.


GM Issues Three More Recalls For Ignition Defects

By Brian Chase on January 5, 2015 - No comments

GM RecallGeneral Motors has announced three new recalls affecting more than 83,000 SUVs and pickup trucks that may have defective ignition systems.

According to a Reuters news report, no crashes or injuries have been reported from these latest round of recalls, which focus on a potential defect in the vehicles’ electrical systems.

So far, ignition problems have triggered dozens of recalls from General Motors throughout 2014.

The automaker recalled more than 2.5 million vehicles following accidents that caused at least 40 deaths and scores of injuries. …Read the rest »


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California Personal Injury Blog

Car Parts Suppliers Waking Up after Takata Airbag Recall?

Car parts suppliers are stepping up quality control efforts and the traceability of their components in the wake of an unprecedented wave of auto safety recalls and huge fines against manufacturers,

read article

Ford Recalls Vehicles For Fuel Pump Defects

Ford has issued a vehicle defect recall for select 2014 models of the Ford Escape and 2015 models of the Lincoln MKC. According to a report in The Car Connection, some of those vehicles may have fuel

read article

Meat Products Recalled For Metal Fragments

Unibright Foods, based in Bell Gardens in Los Angeles County, has recalled nearly 50,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat beef and pork products that could possibly be contaminated with metal fragments.

read article


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