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Auto Product Liability Archives | Farah & Farah

Is Your Explorer Poisoning You With Exhaust?

By Farah & Farah on March 2, 2017

A federal investigation is focusing on exhaust fumes filling the cabin of the popular SUV, Ford Explorer.

Many consumers have complained of a rotten egg smell coming from the back of Ford Explorers. That smell may be more than unpleasant, it may be toxic.   

A dash cam video shows Newport Beach, California officer Brian McDowell behind the wheel of his 2014 Explorer police cruiser.  CBS News reports he was responding to a call when he blacked out behind the wheel, crossed into ongoing traffic and crashed into a tree.

McDowell dislocated his shoulder, suffered traumatic brain injury and a broken eye socket. 

There was no medical reason for him to black out. McDowell had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

The smell may be carbon monoxide and the issue seems to occur while the vehicle is accelerating with the AC on.   

NHTSA finally launched investigation in July after 154 customer complaints about the 2011 to 2015 model Ford Explorers. Now, CBS reports there are 450 complaints and they include the 2016 and 2017 Explorer models. 

NHTSA reports there have been no serious injuries, though office McDowell’s accident could hardly be discounted as “not serious,” since he nearly died.   

Officer McDowell is suing.

In Florida, Angela Sanchez-Knutson sued Ford in 2014 over the odor in her car. After eight service visits to a Sunrise dealership, the dealership said it had no idea how to fix the problem. 

Her lawsuit claims consumer protections laws have been violated.

Last October, in response to the Sanchez-Knutson lawsuit, Ford agreed to a national settlement to benefit up to one million consumers.

Consumers who purchased or leased a 2011 to 2015 Ford Explorer are part of the class which offers several components of relief – first, repairs including additional sealing efforts and parts replacement including HVAC recalibration. 

If necessary, the exhaust tips and muffler assembly will be replaced. 

Consumers will be offered cash if they are out of a warranty period. 

If the problem is not fixed, Ford will buy back the car. 

One million Ford Explorer owners and lessees must be directly informed about the exhaust issue as part of the settlement. 

The settlement was reached after the trial began. 

For its part, Ford has issued three repair bulletins since 2012 so car dealers can fix the problem. The bulletins do not mention the “dangerous quantities” of carbon monoxide leaking into the passenger cabin, according to a lawsuit filed against Ford. 

Ford also says consumers should contact their local Ford dealer and the odor “poses no safety risk.”

To remedy the situation for now, police cars in Newport Beach carry monoxide detectors in the cabin. CBS News reports some have gone off.

Takata Pleads Guilty to Criminal Wrongdoing Over Its Airbags

By Farah & Farah on March 2, 2017

Sixteen Americans have lost their lives due to defective air bags and now we know what those lives were worth.

Japanese auto parts maker, Takata agreed to a $1 billion fine to settle criminal felony charges that the company concealed the defects in millions of air bag inflators over a 15-year period. 

The decision occurred in a Detroit federal courtroom on the last day of February after Takata struck a deal with the Department of Justice.

The problem is in the ammonium nitrate-based airbag inflator. It causes the airbag to inflate with too much force, sending metal shards into the passenger cabin and its inhabitants. 

In pleading guilty to criminal wrongdoing, Takata admitted it provided misleading test reports to automakers.

Included in the settlement is a $25 million criminal penalty and $125 million for victims.  Also Takata must pay $850 million to the car companies as restitution.

Takata’s chief finance officer blamed the actions of certain employees as “deeply inappropriate.”

So far 42 million vehicles are being recalled in the U.S. Approximately 180 injuries have occurred along with the 16 deaths.  All but one of the deaths occurred in Honda vehicles, reports Reuters.

Other automakers involved include Toyota, Ford, Nissan and BMW, which have conducted 31 million vehicle recalls over the issue since 2008.

All automakers purchased Takata airbags for their vehicles, despite their awareness that they posed a danger.

“These automakers acted recklessly by putting price ahead of consumer safety, says Eddie Farah of Farah & Farah. 

Those six automakers are the subject of lawsuits by consumers who allege they kept using airbags they knew were defective.

Consumers should check NHTSA to find out if their vehicle is affected by the Takata air bag recalls.

NHTSA Adds Up To 40 Million Cars to Airbag Recall List

By on May 14, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that it will add 35 to 40 million vehicles to its list of cars and trucks that need to be recalled due to defective airbags. This added amount comes on top of the 28 million airbags that have all ready been recalled, making it the largest product recall in American history. The airbags were all manufactured by Japanese parts maker Takata. The defective airbags have been found to shoot shrapnel into the upper body of a driver or passenger when deployed.

Read the rest »

Volkswagen Recall Affects Half Million Cars in U.S.

By on September 22, 2015

The largest car company in the world is in trouble for trying to make millions of diesel cars seem cleaner than they are. Volkswagen is facing recalls of 11 million cars throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. The models affected include the VW Jetta, Beetle, and Golf from 2009 through 2015, the Passat from 2014-2015, and the 2009-2015 model Audi A3. About 488,000 VW and Audi brand vehicles equipped with diesel engines have been recalled here in the United States. Volkswagen has stopped sales of cars with those engines. Read the rest »

GM Ignition Defect Linked to 64 Deaths

By on March 17, 2015

Jacksonville Auto Product LiabilitySince last August, GM has been accepting claims from victims and loved ones who have suffered a loss due to defective ignition switches. There have been 4,343 claims submitted to the compensation fund of which about 2,600 have been ruled ineligible and 1,571 are still under review. According to a recent USA Today news report, the number of families eligible for compensation because a defective ignition switch resulted in a fatality has increased from 57 to 64. That means that these faulty auto parts have killed at least 64 people. There are also 108 claimants who survived their injuries but are still eligible for compensation.

GM expects to lose between $400 and $600 million through the victim’s fund, but that number could go up as the investigation continues. GM’s liability is related to when they became aware of the problem and when they finally decided to issue a recall. The automaker knew of the defective switches in small vehicles such as the Chevrolet Cobalt as early as 2004, but did not issue a recall until 2014. In these vehicles, the ignition keys can slip out of the on position, cutting off the engine. When this happens, the power-assist steering will stop working and the airbags will fail to work. Read the rest »

Over 30,000 Car Seat Adaptors For Strollers Recalled

By on September 5, 2013

Florida Stroller RecallBaby Jogger LLC of Richmond, Virginia has agreed to voluntarily recall the car seat adaptor for several Baby Jogger Stroller models due to a fall hazard. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the agency has received some 47 reports of the car seat adaptors failing and the car seats falling to the floor. Two infants were injured, suffering head and foot injuries.

The car seat adaptors are supposed to secure infant car seats onto Baby Jogger Strollers. The recalled models include the “Single,” “Double,” and “Select/Versa” models manufactured between April 1, 2012 and Sept 20, 2012. Newer models that have a different support bar configuration are not being recalled.

Read the rest »

NHSTA Upgrades Jeep Liberty Airbag Defect Probe

By on February 7, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to ramp up its investigation concerning reports of Jeep Liberty inadvertent airbag deployments. The upgrade of the probe, which began in September of 2011, could spur a massive recall of nearly 387,000 of the 2002-2003 Chrysler vehicles.

87 reports have been filed so far concerning Jeep Liberty airbags deploying for no apparent reason. In 42 of the 87 incidents, the driver’s front airbag deployed unexpectedly. The rest of the deployments involved both the driver’s and passenger-front airbags. As a result, 50 injuries have been reported, which include burns, cuts, and bruises. No deaths have been reported due to the potentially defective airbags. Read the rest »

NHTSA Updates Chevy Volt Fire Investigation

By Eddie Farah on January 18, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a statement on January 5 concerning the potential risk of fires in the electric-powered Chevrolet Volts. A fire broke out in the defective vehicle in June and the NHTSA opened an investigation into the safety of the Volt in November. The initial investigation, which was a collaboration of the Department of Defense and Department of Energy, showed that when an intrusion into the battery is combined with a leakage of coolant, fire can be sparked in the 400-pound lithium ion Volt battery pack.

There were no real world crashes that resulted in fires in the Chevy Volt, but fires occurred days after the federal safety tests and could be replicated in laboratory tests. The NHTSA did crash a Chevy Volt retrofitted with a General Motors steel reinforcement, which proved effective against a steel pole intrusion into the battery compartment. The investigation into the Chevy Volt should be concluded soon, according to the automaker. Read the rest »

Nissan Recalls Altima, Sentra Sedans Over Defects

By on August 19, 2011

About 20,000 Altima sedans are being recalled by Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to fix a potential steering defect that could lead to an auto accident. The cars being recalled are from the 2011 and 2012 model year and were built in the Canton, Mississippi plant during the April 25 to June 10 time period. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a transverse link bolt may not have been tightened properly. Drivers may hear a rattling or vibration indicating the bolt has loosened. Once the bolt loosens or drops off, the driver would have difficulty steering which could cause a crash. Consumers should bring their Nissan into the dealer and the bolts will be replaced and tightened to the correct specifications.

Another recall issued August 18 by NHTSA also concerns the Nissan Altima and Nissan Sentra, 2002-2003 model years. Nissan North America is recalling 338,000 cars to have a protruding portion of an exhaust pipe removed. The cars equipped with a 2.5 liter engine have a hanger pin on the exhaust pipe that may catch debris from the road and can erupt into a fire. On the 2002 vehicles, certain operating conditions may cause engine damage and the precatalyst to overheat. Read the rest »

New Study Finds Thousands of Recalled Rental Cars Go Unrepaired

By on March 1, 2011

According to an article in The Detroit News, tens of thousands of rental cars that have been recalled go unrepaired past the recall notice date and continue to be rented to unsuspecting consumers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began following up on 3 million recalled vehicles to see how quickly they were being repaired. After following General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles that had been recalled between 2000-2010, NHTSA reported that up to 30 percent of the vehicles had been repaired, with 70 percent unrepaired. Read the rest »

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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

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