Ford announced recently it was recalling more than 1 million pickup trucks, including the F-150, because corrosion problems can cause the vehicles to catch on fire, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Our product liability lawyers have seen over the years how defective vehicles have injured innocent and unsuspecting drivers. When a driver is injured because an automobile has material defects, he or she deserves to be compensated. Such defects can also contribute to an accident or be the cause of injuries sustained in the accident.
In the current recall, the newspaper reports, Ford says that straps that hold the fuel tanks to the truck can corrode after heavy use, potentially leading to fires if the tank drops and leaks. The problem caused one injury and three vehicle fires that the company knows about.
The models and years that were recalled:
- 1997 to 2003 Ford F-150
- 2004 F-150 Heritage
- 1997 to 1999 F-250
- 2002 to 2003 Lincoln Blackwood
This follows action taken in April, when Ford recalled 1.2 million vehicles because front-seat airbags could inflate without the vehicle being involved in an accident. The newspaper reports that owners of these vehicles can bring their trucks in for free repairs.
Recalls almost always take some type of accident or problem before an issues is fixed. Large companies rarely are proactive in putting out recalls because it is a huge cost to them. After consumers have purchased a product and it is found to be defective, companies either have to replace or repair it, which hurts their bottom line.
Vehicle companies have had scores of recalls throughout the years. Some that probably come to mind are when Toyota had problems with gas pedals getting stuck, and when Firestone tires used on Ford Explorers were apt to blowouts, which led to a recall scandal a decade ago.
Vehicles are different from other products. If a person’s vacuum has a defect, it can be replaced and no one usually gets hurt. But an automobile can be as dangerous as a weapon and manufacturers must make sure they get it right — the first time.
Recall information for vehicles can be found online through the government-run website recalls.gov. There, consumers can search by a specific make and model, search for car seat recalls, tire recalls and other vehicle-related product pull-backs. The site also allows consumers to search for non-motor vehicle products.
Sometimes, companies are so motivated by profits and shareholders’ desires that they cut corners on their product. And in the case of motor vehicles that can lead to injuries and death. Consumers require protection and while there are safety standards in place, it’s obvious that they can be skirted.
Perhaps help is on the way. As The Detroit News recently reported, two senators introduced a proposal to overhaul the nation’s motor vehicle safety laws that would hike the maximum fine for failing to recall an unsafe vehicle from $16.4 million to $250 million. The huge jump in fines would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the ability to more strongly enforce safety issues. Toyota was fined about $50 million last year for three separate recall incidents, the newspaper reports.
The Ferraro Law Firm represents patients injured by recalled or defective products throughout the country. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
More Blog Entries:
Government Site Empowers Consumers Dealing with Defective Products: May 18, 2011
Ford to recall 1 million older pickups because of fire danger, by Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times
Senators introduce bill to raise recall finest o $250 million, by David Shepardson, The Detroit News