In 2005, General Motors Co. made a conscious decision – to not change the design of a defective ignition switch eventually linked to 13 deaths. According to a Reuters news report, the automaker saved less than $1 per car by putting off that switch redesign, which could have saved lives and prevented injuries. This information came out through an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators.
Documents Shed Light on Cost of Fix
Lawmakers have been questioning GM CEO Mary Barra about the company’s failure to recall 2.6 million cars for faulty ignition switches that could cut off engines and disable airbags, power steering and power brakes. GM knew about the problem more than a decade ago.
Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette cited a 2005 GM document during the hearings, which she said, showed a cost of 57 cents per fix. Although Reuters could not get a copy of that document, they obtained another one which showed that the change in ignition switch design would have cost an extra 90 cents per vehicle and additional tooling costs of $400,000 overall spread over several years. …Read the rest »
Shire Pharmaceuticals has announced a voluntary recall in the United States of vials of enzymes used to treat type 1 Gaucher disease.
According to a press release issued by the company, the batches of VPRIV or a hydrolytic lysosomal glucocerebroside-specific enzyme due to the presence of “visible particulate matter” identified as stainless steel and barium sulfate.
The contamination was found in a “small number of vials” in three packaged lots of VPRIV, the company’s release states.
Shire officials state that the safety risk to patients is …Read the rest »
Almost all of the smallest vehicles in the U.S. automotive market failed to get passing grades on a tough new crash test from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). According to a Detroit News report, the group points out that only one mini-car out of 11 that were tested received an acceptable rating in the small-overlap front crash test.
That makes mini-cars the poorest performing group of any evaluated so far. The Chevrolet Spark was the only vehicle that received an acceptable overall rating in the small-overlap test along with good ratings in the IIHS’s four other crashworthiness evaluations.
What is the Small-Overlap Test?
This test was introduced about two years ago and basically replicates what occurs when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a pole or tree. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a stationary object at 40 mph. Safety experts say that when it comes to crashworthiness, lightweight vehicles have an inherent disadvantage, which is why, if you must buy a mini-car, you should choose one that provides maximum occupant protection. The IIHS test rates all mini-cars, including the Chevy Spark, “poor” or “marginal” for structure.
…Read the rest »
For the first time, new government regulations are being introduced to protect young children from injury and death in side-impact crashes. According to an ABC News report, the proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would upgrade and improve standards for safety seats for children weighing up to 40 pounds to include a new test that simulates a side impact collision. The safety agency estimates that these new standards will help prevent five child deaths and 64 injuries every year.
T-bone or Broadside Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most deadly side-angle crashes in the year 2005 were broadside crashes. These types of traffic collisions typically occur at right angles. About 62.5 percent of fatal side-angle crashes are broadsides. Research also shows that many child deaths and injuries in these types of collisions involve a car carrying children that is stopped at an intersection, usually at a light or stop sign. When the vehicle begins to accelerate and go through the intersection, it is struck in the side by another vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed on the cross street. …Read the rest »
Twenty years after a jury awarded a landmark $2.9 million to a woman who was badly burned by hot McDonald’s coffee in Albuquerque, a Los Angeles woman has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Golden Arches saying she suffered burn injuries after hot coffee spilled on her at one of the fast food chain’s restaurants.
In the New Mexico case, the award was reduced to $640,000 and the case was later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. That case also drew national and international attention from critics who called it a “frivolous” lawsuit although the woman suffered third-degree burns and had to undergo skin graft surgery. The case is still cited by advocates for tort reform. …Read the rest »
As a product liability attorney, I have issues with the onslaught of e-smokers coming out in what seems like droves. Whenever a new product hits the market and the only one telling us it’s safe is the maker, that causes me concern.
There is much more that needs to be understood about the potential dangers of electronic cigarettes. Especially if they are going to be advertised across our televisions in millions of households with young children and teens watching.
Even as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to propose curbs on battery-powered E-cigarettes, the electronic cigarette industry has big television advertising plans for 2014.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, politicians and anti-tobacco groups have called to regulate these devices just like traditional cigarettes, which have not been allowed in TV commercials for more than 40 years. Experts view the E-cigarette industry’s move to unleash a flurry of new national TV ads as a way to reach out to as many consumers as possible and cement their brands nationally. …Read the rest »