A Sordid History of Reckless Endangerment
The automobile has been a prized possession among Americans since it was invented. The average person takes four car trips a day, and many would consider their vehicle indispensable. A few years ago, we learned that, for the first time in history, cars in this country now outnumber drivers. Unfortunately, not many people are aware that some autos are dangerous weapons waiting to be used in a violent crime.
History of Disregard
We see repeatedly that auto manufacturers do not have our safety in mind. Technology has come a long way since the creation of the car, yet safety enhancements trail behind like a lost puppy. It's not as if the solutions to defective air bags and rollover prone vehicles have a team of engineers working day and night to try to fix the problem. So why are we left reading about, hearing about, and consoling victims of these product defects? All evidence points to money.
Evidence demonstrates that car manufacturers are aware of most of the auto defects that a vehicle has before it hits the street. Furthermore, they will neither recall vehicles with dangerous defects, effectively notify the owners of defects, nor warn about these defects, thereby knowingly exposing the American motoring public to catastrophic injury or death.
Various Deadly Auto Defects
The range and amount of auto defects that have been produced by manufacturers is shocking. In February of 2007 alone NHTSA reported 48 recalls. These don't account for restraints that pass regulation, but are still unsafe. Today's restraint systems are not very effective at all in rear-end collisions or in rollovers. Nor are they even tested for their performance in these crash modes. If the safety standards aren't high enough to keep us safe in a collision, do we really expect the auto manufacturers to pay extra to make sure we are? Auto defect attorneys help hold these companies accountable.
"Unsafe At Any Speed"
Bringing to light the negligence of auto manufacturers is not a new concept. When Ralph Nader wrote his book in 1965 titled "Unsafe at Any Speed" he opened a window for consumers to get a glimpse of auto defects and their dangers. Soon after its release, NHTSA was established and the concept of "crashworthiness" was developed.
Crashworthiness refers to a vehicle's ability to withstand a collision with minimal injury to its occupants. Since NHTSA was developed, auto defects were starting to be noticed instead of ignored. Ignorance may be bliss, but when our government removed their heads from the sand, what was seen was too much to comprehend.
The Ford Pinto
The Ford Pinto may be one of the most documented cases of auto product liability to-date. It was built with a gas tank that could easily rupture after a collision at low speed. Ford officials were aware that this defect existed, before they were mass-produced. Since the assembly line machinery was already assembled, it was decided that they would take their chances.
Ford wanted to save money, and in doing so lives were lost. It was later released that a carefully prepared cost-benefit analysis was reviewed before the final decision was made. With $121 million being the amount that it would cost to fix the problem and $49.3 million being estimated costs of lawsuits if they didn't, Ford made the decision they thought was best for their company.
This sick and twisted placement of priorities set forth by these entities is enough make you pull out your hair. How anyone can weigh lives and profit is more than disturbing, it's outrageous and unacceptable. In circumstances such as these, it is only right -- both legally and morally -- for victims to receive compensation for their losses. If you have been injured in an accident involving auto defects, I encourage you to call Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP, they have been helping victims of auto manufacturer negligence rise up and fight back. They also offer a free consultation if you have any questions.
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