Auto Defects & Products Liability Digest
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys has compiled a list of the defective vehicles that we have seen examples of and whose manufacturers we have sued for negligence. These vehicles have caused and have the potential to cause severe injury and death, and we provide this consumer resource for drivers who may not be aware that their vehicles have hazardous defects.
1992 Dodge Ram
The 1992 Dodge Ram is a dangerous and defective car. In 1993, Charles Clark was driving his 1992 Dodge Ram pickup truck with his two nephews when a State Police cruiser near Route 25 in Kentucky hit him. The car collision to Clark's driver side front fender caused the cars to rotate and "side slap" after impact. Clark, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the truck, thrown onto the grass median and died six hours later from his personal injuries. Neither the police officer nor Clark's two passengers were seriously injured.
1996 Ford Taurus
In 2000, 29-year-old Mayling Semidey was driving home from an errand in her 1996 Ford Taurus when she accidentally struck a concrete retaining wall. The low speed impact -- about 9 mph -- caused the defective air bag to deploy and resulted in fatal chest injuries to Ms. Mayling. The single mother left behind a now 7-year old son.
1995 Dodge Caravan
In 1995, Jose Liz Crespo was in Puerto Rico driving his rented 1995 Dodge Caravan the wrong way down a steep private drive and struck an oncoming car head on. His son, 5-year-old Michael Liz Crespo, was riding as a passenger in the front seat and was not wearing his seatbelt. Neither were two other children in the car. Upon impact, the Caravan's air bag deployed, striking the Michael in the chin and neck, damaging his spinal cord, and causing suffocation and death.
1994 Chevrolet Lumina
In 1999, Maria Allen was driving to work near Portland when she lost control of her 1994 Chevrolet Lumina van on a patch of ice. The van slid off the road and struck a rock at the right rear quarter-panel and tire. At the moment of impact, Allen's seat back collapsed and twisted inboard. Although she was wearing a seat belt, Allen was thrown violently rearward and hit her head on the right side of the van as it moved inward.
2000 Ford Lincoln LS Seat Collapse
In the summer of 2000, Kelsey Sasser, age 6, was in the rear-center passenger seat of a 2000 Lincoln LS being driven by her mother, Rhonda Sasser. The Lincoln was involved in a head-on car collision with a pickup truck in southwest Georgia. Kelsey's fold-down seat collapsed during the car accident, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down.
1992 Ford Escort Faulty Seatbelt System
In 1994, Ginger Brockman was driving her 1992 Ford Escort toward McKee, Kentucky at about thirty-five miles per hour. Patti Ann King was in the front passenger's seat. When a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction attempted to turn in front of them, the pickup collided with the Escort.
1995 Chevrolet Blazer - Prone to Rollovers
In 2002, Bonnie Reynolds was driving her 1995 Chevy Blazer on Interstate 985 in Gainesville, Georgia. Her 14-year-old son Matthew was a passenger in the front seat. Sadly, in the days that followed, she would never see her boy alive again. When a drunk driver veered off the highway, lost control and attempted to re-enter the highway, he rammed into Reynolds' SUV. The Blazer spun around, rolled over and ejected Matthew, who was airlifted to a nearby hospital. The young boy died in his mother's arms the following day. Bonnie was also severely injured in the car accident.
1994 Ford Escort Faulty Air Bag -- Late Deployment
Margaret Cruze, a 78-year-old widow, was leaving a nursing home in her 1994 Ford Escort, heading north on Highway 11W in Grainger County, Tennessee. When another driver turned left in front of her, the initial car collision impacted her left front bumper. Cruze was wearing a manual lap seat belt with an automatic shoulder harness--both were in place when the emergency crew arrived to assist her. Her Escort was also equipped with a driver-side air bag, which had deployed, yet she still suffered a cervical fracture at C6-7, which turned her into a quadriplegic.
1997 Ford F-150 SuperCab Pickup's Faulty Door Latches
In 2001, 35-year-old Deborah Seliner was driving her 1997 Ford F-150 pickup along Highway 6 near College Station, Texas when her trucks rear tire blew out, sending it off the road onto a grassy divider. The truck rolled over, ejected her through the open driver's side door (even though she had apparently been wearing her seat belt), and hurled her 20 yards onto the pavement.
1997 Ford Explorer - Roof Crush
In 2002, 49-year-old Benetta Buell-Wilson was driving her 1997 Ford Explorer along Interstate 8 in California when tragedy struck. A tragedy that, regrettably, we've seen repeat itself far too often. In her public statement, Buell-Wilson recalled how her nightmare unfolded. "A metal part flew off the RV in front of me, bounced on the road and careened toward my windshield," said Buell-Wilson. "As I swerved to avoid it, my SUV tipped, rolled over four times, and the Ford roof crushed in on me.
1995 Mustang Faulty Airbag
Lydia Ramos placed her two-year-old daughter, Samantha Roblez, in a forward-facing child seat in the front seat of her 1995 Mustang. She had no idea how dangerous her actions would be. When Ramos hit another car that had stopped in front of her, the impact was fairly low--less than 14 mph--yet the car accident cased the Mustang's airbag's to be deployed with such force that it severed Samantha's spine, leaving her a respirator-dependant quadriplegic.
1995 Nissan Pathfinder
In 2006, Rebecca Perdue was driving her 1995 Nissan Pathfinder on University Boulevard in Tyler, Texas when another vehicle crashed into her Nissan. Perdue claims she was properly wearing her seatbelt at the time of the car accident, yet she sustained serious personal injuries because the Nissan failed to protect her.
1996 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer - Weak Roof Danger
In 1997, Penny Shipler, a waitress and single mother, accepted a ride home from work from a friend, Kenneth Long. During the drive on a rural Nebraska highway, Long lost control of his 1996 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and it rolled several times. Shipler's spine was crushed when the SUV's roof collapsed around her in the car accident.
1996 Ford Explorer - Rollover Hazard
In 1997, 17-year-old Lance Crossman Hall was reclining in the front passenger seat of a 1996 Ford Explorer and wearing his seat belt when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The driver attempted to regain control of the SUV, but a handling problem caused it to turn sideways. The SUV rolled over four times on State Road 93 near Naples. Hall was ejected from the car and died at the scene.
1997 Ford F150 Pickup - Dangerous Gas Tank
In 1999, John Mathes was driving a 1997 Ford F150 pickup on Interstate 70 near Warrenton, Montana after a hard rain. When Mathes' pickup, which was pulling a camper trailer, collided with a semi that had flipped over, another car, traveling more than 50 miles per hour, slammed into Mathes' rear axle, which tore a 6-inch gash in the pickup's fuel tank. When the pickup erupted in flames, John and Shirley Mathes and their 8-year-old grandson, Jacob Mathes, were burned to death. The fire, which was hot enough to melt the road's pavement, burned the three so badly that identification was not possible for several days.
1997 Chevrolet Suburban - Seatbelt Failure
Mary Beth Arcidiacono was always concerned about safety, which is why she bought a large SUV like the 1997 Chevrolet Suburban to transport her family. In 1998, Arcidiacono was driving her four children on a Colorado interstate when she lost control of her Suburban and it rolled over four times. All her children were properly seat-belted, yet tragedy struck when her 13-year-old son John was ejected and killed. Her other son, Christopher, then 11, was also ejected and suffered a brain injury, which he's still struggling to overcome.
1995 Chevrolet Lumina - Lethal Fuel System Defect
In 1995, Douglas and Connie Harsh along with their infant son were traveling in a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina on a road in Pennsylvania. When their Lumina was impacted from the rear by a tractor-trailer moving at about 40 mph, the car was engulfed in flames, killing husband, wife and child.
1997 Plymouth Voyager Minivan - Lacks Brake Shift Interlock
In 2006, four-year-old Gabriel Escobar was in the family's 1997 Plymouth Voyager minivan with the key in the ignition and the engine off. His mother was in the driveway walking toward the minivan when Gabriel shifted the vehicle out of "park." A babysitter briefly turned her attention away and was too late to grab Ian, Gabriel's 18-month-old brother, out of the minivan's path. Ian was trapped under the minivan's wheel and killed in the car accident.
1998 Plymouth Voyager's Dangerously Weak Roof
In 1998, Annette Boryszewski, 38, was driving a 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan on a New Jersey highway. When the front wheel of a nearby Jeep Wrangler fell off, it struck the roof and windshield of the minivan. The wheel pushed the minivan's roof header into Annette's head, fracturing her skull and killing her on impact.
1999 Ford 15-passenger Econoline - Faulty Tire Valve
In 1999, Ramon and Maria Jimenez rented a 1999 Ford Econoline 15-passenger van to drive their family to Walt Disney World to celebrate their daughter Phoebe's 10th birthday. Tragically, young Phoebe's celebration would be cut short. When a tire blew out, the driver lost control and the van rolled over, leaving Phoebe in what family attorney described as "an almost complete vegetative state."
2000 Ford F-Series SuperCab - Pickup Roof Crush
In 2001, Paul Alaniz, 35, was driving in Kingsville, Texas with three friends. Laura Benavides, 20 was seated behind him. Juan Flores, 26, and Eluterio Elizondo, 24 were in the front and rear seats on the passenger side. Alaniz, a physical-education teacher and youth football coach, drank at least two beers during the night (his blood-alcohol level was 0.04 percent, half the legal limit in Texas).
1995 Ford Explorer Sport's Unsafe Roof
In 2003, 18-year-old Tyler Moody lost control of his 1995 Ford Explorer Sport while passing another car. The SUV left the curved road, rolled at least 1.5 times, and came to rest on its roof, which had collapsed, crushing and killing Tyler.
1996 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan - Seatbelt Defect
In December, 2002, seven members of the extended Mendoza family were returning to their homes in Houston from a Christmas visit to Mexico when their 1996 Chrysler Town & Country minivan struck a culvert, flipped end-to-nose and rolled over. The car accident occurred on U.S. Highway 59, just west of Beeville, Texas
1996 Ford Crown Victoria's Roof Proves Not Crashworthy
U.S. Army Major Barry Muth was sitting in the front passenger seat of a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria when the car's driver, a fellow Army officer on duty in Saudi Arabia, lost control and ran into a concrete barrier separating the two sides of the road. The car, which was traveling about 10 mph above the 48 mph speed limit, slid along the barrier and ultimately flipped onto its roof, which collapsed 12 to 15 inches.
1996 Mitsubishi Sebring Found Not Crashworthy
In 2004, Jonny Gray II was traveling east on Highway 98 between Alabama and Mississippi, when a car that had swerved into oncoming traffic struck his 1996 Mitsubishi Sebring. The car crash collapsed the Sebring's front-side structure, driving the steering column close to Gray's chest before the airbag deployed, killing him. Tashina Gray, his 9-year-old daughter, was in the front seat. She suffered massive brain injuries and paralysis when her seat was propelled forward to the aluminum-backed airbag door and struck her in the head as the airbag deployed.
1985 GMC Sierra Pickup Exploding Fuel Tank
In 1989, 17-year-old Shannon Moseley was driving a 1985 GMC Sierra pickup when it was struck from the side by another vehicle operated by a drunk driver. The Sierra burst into flames and Moseley burned to death in the fiery car crash.
2003 Ford Ranger Faulty Airbag
In 2005, Hazel Campbell was a passenger in a 2003 Ford Ranger traveling in Boyd County, Kentucky. She had her whole life ahead of her. Unfortunately, like so many Americans, she placed her trust for car safety in seatbelts and airbags. When her husband, Ken, lost control of their truck on the icy highway, it struck the concrete wall of a bridge head-on. Regrettably, the Ranger's airbag failed to deploy and, even though Hazel was restrained by a seatbelt, she sustained a severe closed-head injury, requiring surgery to relieve three hematomas on her brain.
1993 Ford F-series Pickup Lethal Parking Brake
In 1994, 3-year-old Walter White climbed into his father's parked 1993 Ford F-350 pickup. When the parking brake disengaged, the boy fell out and went under the wheels as the F350 Ford Pickup rolled down their driveway. Walter White was crushed to death.
Ford 2000 Expedition Tempered Windows Prove Deadly
In 2004, a reckless driver ran a red light and broadsided a 2000 Ford Expedition, changing the lives of the Marroquin family forever. The traffic collision in Nueces County, Texas resulted in the tragic death of 10-year-old Matthew Marroquin and injured other members of the family.
2001-2002 Ford E350 15-Passenger Van Lethal in Rollovers
Corinne Bardessono and Belen Campos were riding in a Ford E350 15-passenger van when it hit black ice on Highway 395 near Ritzville, Washington. The van rolled over and 15-year old Corinne and 17-year old Belen were both killed. The two girls were classmates at Prosser High School and traveling to Cheney to tour Eastern Washington University.
1999 S420 Mercedes - Airbag Failure
In 1998, Elwood Kaplan, a 75 year old retiree was driving his 1999 S420 Mercedes outside of Naples, Florida when a Dodge Durango struck the Mercedes on the driver's door at 25 miles per hour. Regrettably, the Mercedes' driver's door airbag failed to deploy. As a result, Mr. Kaplan's left arm was pushed outside the driver's door window and torn off just below the shoulder by the Durango's impact.
2001 Ford F-150 Pickup - Faulty Cruise Control Switch
On New Year's Day 2004, a pre-dawn fire destroyed the Kennesaw, Georgia home of Juan and Tanika Washington. It also took the life of the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Blake. When investigators sought the cause of the fire, they were surprised to learn that its origins pointed to the family's parked 2001 Ford F-150 pickup.
1985 Dodge Caravan Faulty Liftgate
In 1994, 6-year-old Sergio Jimenez II was riding in the back seat of his family's 1985 Dodge Caravan. As the Caravan exited a shopping center parking lot, the driver, Jimenez's wife drove through a red light. The van was struck in the left rear by an oncoming car traveling at 30 m.p.h. The impact caused the van to spin, roll over and land on its wheels. Sergio, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was thrown out of the van when the latch on the rear liftgate failed. The boy later died of his injuries.
Motor Vehicle Defects Found In 1987 Ford Bronco
In 2001, a woman was driving four children to a sleepover in her 1987 Ford Bronco. The children were not wearing their seat belts. When the woman momentarily turned to her backseat passengers, she veered off the country road and flipped and rolled the Bronco. Sadly, a 12-year-old boy was thrown from the SUV and suffered brain damage. As result of his personal injuries, the boy has given up his athletic dreams due to memory problems and other cognitive difficulties. His father worries that his son won't be able to hold a job.
1988 Bronco II SUV Rollover Danger
In 1996, Richard Raimondi, a 53-year-old insurance executive, turned his 1988 Bronco II quickly to avoid a tire on the freeway near Fremont, California. The SUV rolled over four times, leaving Raimondi a quadriplegic, unable to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator. After years of suffering--and after the trial against Ford had run its course--Raimondi eventually died in 2000.
1992 Volkswagen Jetta Lap Belt Danger
In 2004, Chelsea Pursell, a 16-year old high school sophomore was in a 1992 Volkswagen Jetta with four other teens. It was close to midnight in Allentown, PA when the driver apparently lost control of the car. The Jetta abruptly jumped a curb and hit a utility pole. Upon impact, Pursell, who was in the middle back seat and wearing only a lap-style seat belt, sustained severe and permanent injuries
2000 Montero Sport Faulty Seat Belt
Scott LaLiberte, a 25-year-old chiropractic student in Florida, was riding in the front passenger seat of a 2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport when the driver lost control. The Montero rolled over several times on I-95 near Daytona Beach. Scott was killed but the driver walked away with only a minor injury.
1997 Ford Escort Faulty Seatback
In 2002, Betty Potter was driving her 1997 Ford Escort toward Crossville, Tennessee when she entered a curve and slid off the rain-slicked road. Her life would never be the same again
1997 Dodge Caravan Faulty Seatback
In 2000, Robert Bennett was driving his 1997 Dodge Caravan in Ocala, Florida. His wife Vickie was seated in the passenger seat. Both were properly wearing their lap/shoulder belts and the vehicle was traveling within the lawful/posted speed limit. Sadly, this would be a drive they would remember with dread for the rest of their lives.
1996 Ford Windstar Minivan Lap Belt Lawsuit
In 1996, the Karlsson family had recently emigrated to the U.S. from Sweden and was traveling in a 1996 Ford Windstar minivan near Gorman, CA. Agneta Karlsson, her husband and five children were looking forward to visiting a relative in Washington State. Sadly, they would undergo a tragic ordeal that would change their lives forever.
2000 Ford Sued Over Failure to Use Laminated Glass
In 2003, 19-year old Saul Guerrero Jr. was driving his 2000 Explorer XLS in Zavala County, Texas with several passengers. When the road ahead abruptly changed from asphalt pavement to caliche (a road surfaced with sand or clay impregnated with crystalline salts), Guerrero lost control and the Explorer skidded sideways and rolled over. As it rolled, the Explorer's door glass shattered and passengers Corina Garcia and Diana Alicia Alonzo, both 19, were thrown from the vehicle and killed. Saul and another passenger, Arturo Guerrero, 18, were also ejected but not seriously injured.
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Park-to-Reverse Defect
In 1999, Juli Guillot and her husband, August, were about to drive to the local hospital in Chalmette, Louisiana for Juli to deliver her second child. Juli stepped out of their 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee to retrieve her young daughter's songbook, and August got out to get his cell phone in the back of the SUV. It was then that tragedy struck: the Cherokee shifted into reverse and pinned Julie to a brick carport column.
1997 Ford Explorer's Lethal "Skate" Problem
John Means was driving his 1997 Ford Explorer on I-65 heading toward Montgomery, Alabama when the tread on the driver's side rear tire separated. Means lost control of the SUV and it rolled over five times. Mr. Means, April Powell, the front seat passenger, and Natasha Womack, one of the rear-seat passengers, were severely injured and incurred major medical expenses. Another rear-seat passenger, Antoine Thagard, eventually died from her injuries. Mr.Means remained in intensive care for a month with a traumatic brain injury. Ms.Womack suffered permanent memory loss and compound fractures to both legs. Ms.Powell required reconstructive surgery on her arm.
1986 Plymouth Voyager Brake Design Defect
In 1990, Paul Santos was driving his 1986 Plymouth Voyager minivan in New Hampshire. Santos, his wife, and their three children were returning to Belmont from a ski trip in Canada. When Santos applied the brakes after approaching slowed traffic, the rear of the minivan slid to the right, swerved into an oncoming lane and was broadsided by a Ford Bronco. Santos was injured, but sadly, his wife and three children died as a result of the car accident
1985 Ford Mercury Grand Marquis Exploding Gas Tank
In 1999, Anne Marie Gibson was in her 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis, waiting to make a left turn on U.S. Highway 129 in Georgia, when a pickup slammed into car. She was hit again when her car was forced into oncoming traffic. Bolts from a trailer hitch gouged into her car's gas tank, causing it to burst into flames. The passenger doors jammed and Gibson's seat collapsed, dropping her back into the flames. She burned to death at the scene.
1993 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Not Crashworthy
In 1999, 12-year-old Jeffrey Jernigan was riding in the front passenger seat of a 1993 Oldsmobile Delta 88 driven by his older teenage brother. When they were struck head on by another vehicle, the Oldsmobile's passenger compartment collapsed in on Jeffrey, who was wearing his seatbelt. He suffered such severe head and brain injuries that a frontal lobotomy was necessary to save his life
1987 Ford F-150 Post-Collision Fire Danger
In 1995, 24-year-old landscape foreman John Wasilik was driving his 1987 Ford F-150 truck on Route 97 in Maryland. When another truck crossed the centerline and collided with Wasilik, the F-150 burst into flames. Wasilik was trapped inside and conscious for several minutes as bystanders tried to free him. He subsequently suffered third-degree burns over 65 percent of his body and lost his right arm and right leg. His medical bills totaled $1.4 million, and he expects his future medical expenses to be in the millions of dollars.
1991 Dodge Caravan Minivan No Brake Shift Interlock
In 2002, Lori Hamby was hanging clothes in the yard of an Atlanta home while her daughter, Mary, sat inside their 1991 Dodge Caravan minivan. The van was not running and was being washed by Lori Hamby's fiancé, Roberto Martinez. When Martinez turned to grab a bottle of Windex about 15 feet away, Mary apparently struck the automatic transmission lever, allowing the minivan to roll down a 120-foot driveway. The minivan struck a small tree, Mary fell out and was pinned under the right front tire. Sadly, she died from compression asphyxiation and trauma.
1988 Ford Ranger Pickup Unsafe Seat Belt
In 1997, Ricky Johnson, 19, was driving a 1988 Ford Ranger Pickup near his home in Tecumseh, Oklahoma. When he fell asleep at the wheel, the Ranger careened off the road, smashed into an embankment and landed at the bottom of the creek bed. During the car accident, Johnson's seat-belt webbing tore apart at the latch plate and he landed against the passenger-side door. Johnson sustained a broken pelvis, broken left arm, broken bone in his spine, ruptured bladder and a severe head injury with bruising and hemorrhaging in the brain. His brain injury has resulted in permanent physical impairment and a reduction in his mental functioning.
1991 Ford Explorer - Faulty Seat Back
In 1993, Lydia Carillo was stopped at a red light in Hammond, Indiana. She was driving a 1991 Ford Explorer. Her son, Anthony, was in the passenger seat. When her Explorer was rear-ended at about 60 mph by another car, the force of the impact caused Lydia's seatback to flatten. She was thrust into her SUV's rear seat, fractured two back vertebrae, and was paralyzed from the chest down. Anthony was found on the front floorboard. Lydia and Anthony's seat belts were still buckled.
1993 Ford Explorer - Defective Suspension
In 2004, 41-year-old Ruben Zamora, an oil field worker, was driving his 1993 Ford Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle on a south Texas road near San Antonio. When a tire overheated and lost its tread, Zamora lost control, the Explorer rolled over, and Zamora was ejected from the vehicle. He suffered severe brain damage as a result of the car accident and will need care and assistance for the rest of his life.
1993 Ford F-150 Pickup - Weak Roof
In 2004 a 16-year-old was traveling with her parents to Corpus Christi in a 1993 Ford F-150 pickup when their truck was struck by another car leaving a fruit stand. The impact caused the F-150 to roll over, the truck's roof to crush inward and the 16-year old girl's seatbelt to fail. The girl was partially ejected and she sustained massive personal injuries to her head. She spent 18 days in a coma and later died.
1993 Lincoln Town Car - Unsafe Gas Tank
In 2003, 73-year-old John Jablonski was stopped near Granite City in his 1993 Lincoln Town Car when it was rear-ended by another car. The 65 mph collision caused the gas tank to catch fire and both John and his wife Dora were severely burned. John died from his burns in a hospital the next night. Dora, now in a nursing home, had her ears burned off and her nose severely disfigured.
1992 Dodge Ram - Defective Design Causes Concern
In 1993, Charles Clark was driving his 1992 Dodge Ram pickup truck with his two nephews when he was hit by a State Police cruiser near Route 25 in Kentucky. The car collision to Clark's left front fender caused the vehicles to rotate and "side slap" after impact. Clark, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the truck, thrown onto the grass median and died six hours later from his injuries. Neither the police officer nor Clark's two passengers were seriously injured.
1992 Mazda Navajo - Faulty Tire & Rear Axle "Skate"
In 2002, Rose Marie Munoz was a rear-seat passenger in a 1992 Mazda Navajo (basically a renamed Ford Explorer SUV) being driven near Poteet, Texas. When the tread separated from the left rear tire, the Mazda veered off the road and into a ditch, rolling over three-and-a-half times. The 22-year-old Munoz, who was ejected from the vehicle, was the only one of four occupants seriously injured. Sadly, her life would never be the same. She became a quadriplegic after the car accident.
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