Auto Defects: Why are so many Deadly Cars on the Road?

You would think that with the advancement of technology that it would translate into safer automobiles.  It doesn’t.   Sure, many of the problems of yesteryear have long been resolved –the fuel tank problems of the Ford Pinto are thankfully no longer with us.  But they’ve been replaced by other defects, many of which are electronically activated features of the modern car, such as sudden acceleration or air bag defects.   Yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece by Clarence Ditlow and Ralph Nader, entitled Weak Oversight, Deadly Cars explains how this all happened:  industry regulators have been captured  by industry itself.   And when money trumps, safety recalls that should be promptly issued, aren’t.

We’ll be following up with a posting on post-accident things to explore in order to see if, unbeknownst to you, your accident was the result of an auto-defect. Meanwhile, SGB and its team of auto-defect lawyers urge you to check the  website or the NHTSA recall website to see if the car you are driving has been recalled.

Premier Product Liability Attorney Teams up with SGB

I bring exciting news to the world of Washington Product Liability law.  It concerns my law firm, Schroeder Goldmark & Bender. We are already a premiere defective product law firm.  Whether it is a catastrophic injury or a mass tort, SGB is a leader in product liability litigation. But our deep bench of outstanding product liability lawyers just got deeper with the addition of product liability trial lawyer Peter O’Neil.   When it comes to product liability cases, Peter O’Neil is a veritable titan; he has a national reputation.

The car industry knows him best.  They have seen Peter successfully litigate one automobile defect case after another: General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai, Toyota, and Nissan and the list goes on. All have had to deal with Peter O’Neil. Peter has succeeded in other product cases as well, ranging from defective heating pads and dangerously designed tractors to dangerous drugs.  Whoever he is up against knows that they are facing an elite Washington product liability lawyer.

Peter posses qualities that have led him to excel: intellectual curiosity, courage, and tenacity.  His intellectual curiosity is what causes him to probe the cause of a catastrophic product failure.  He crawls under cars, tests like parts, and works until he has figured out a particular defect.  He then has the courage to take on the mightiest of defendants.  I actually think he relishes the challenge and the opportunity to bring a big corporation to its knees.  Lastly, Peter is tenacious; he won’t stop until he gets the result he’s after.

I had the chance to work with Peter last year on an automobile defect case that we successfully settled.  It was a real joy to be front and center watching a product liability master at his craft.  I’m excited to be teaming up with him on additional products cases.  Our entire products team is jazzed.

Welcome, Peter.  We’re so happy to have you.

Dangerous Product Update: Honda Car Rollover Verdict

A Philadelphia jury issued a $55.3 million verdict against Honda Motor Co. after a rollover car accident left a man paralyzed. According to the AP, the man was injured when a tire blew and caused a rollover. A defectively designed seatbelt failed to prevent the driver’s head from hitting the roof as the car rolled. The plaintiffs contended that Honda knew such injuries were possible based on testing conducted in 1992, but failed to correct the design defect.


Defective Product Alert: Chrysler Ignition Switch Recall

Hidden amidst the enormous recalls by GM, Chrysler quietly announced on Monday that it, too, would recall 696,000 sport utility vehicles and minivans made between 2007 and 2009 over a concern that the ignition key might turn off the engine.  It is unclear yet whether those recalls are due to the same parts manufacturer, or heightened attention to these recall problems.

Defective Product Update: GM Ignition Switch Recall Expanded to 7.55 million more vehicles

According to the USA Today  GM announced yesterday that it is recalling “about 7.55 million vehicles in the US, vastly expanding the number of cars snared into the automaker’s deadly ignition-switch scandal.”  The New York Times has now called it GM’s “safety crisis,” bringing “total figures for the year above 28 million cars — more than the 22 million recalled last year by all automakers combined.” GM officials reportedly claim that the company “was aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities in the recalled vehicles, but said that there was no conclusive evidence that a defect had caused them.”

The GM cars involved in the ignition switch recall are:

Production Part Vehicles

  • Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2005-2007)
  • Chevrolet HHR (Model Years 2006-2007)
  • Daewoo G2X (Model Year 2007)
  • Opel/Vauxhall GT (Model Year 2007)
  • Pontiac G4 (Model Years 2005-2006)
  • Pontiac G5 (Model Year 2007)
  • Pontiac Pursuit (Model Years 2005-2006)
  • Pontiac Solstice (Model Years 2006-2007)
  • Saturn Ion (Model Years 2003-2007)
  • Saturn Sky (Model Year 2007)

Service Part Vehicles

  • Chevrolet Cobalt (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Chevrolet HHR (Model Years 2008-2011)
  • Daewoo G2X (Model Years 2008-2009)
  • Opel/Vauxhall GT (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Pontiac G5 (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Pontiac Solstice (Model Years 2008-2010)
  • Saturn Sky (Model Years 2008-2010)