Vehicles can be recalled for a variety of reasons. Sometimes these recalls are just for minor mechanical defects, like a door lock malfunction. However, other times recalls are due to vital safety concerns, such as faulty airbags. Recently, Chrysler has recalled millions of vehicles due to flaws that have led to serious injuries and numerous deaths. Nonetheless, many people have already been hurt, and more unsafe vehicles that should be recalled remain on the road in Knoxville and the surrounding area. Car accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe represents individuals who have been hurt by defective vehicles. He fights to help assert their rights for the damages that they need to help them move on with their lives. Manufacturers responsible for putting dangerous cars on the road should be held liable for their actions.Chrysler Vehicle Recalls
Over the years, Chrysler has recalled many of its vehicles for a variety of reasons. In 2014, it recalled half a million cars, including its Dodge Caravan and Town and Country models, because of faulty ignition switches that turned off the vehicles’ engines or led to airbag malfunctions in collisions. Another 2014 recall of Dodge Durangos and various Jeep Cherokee models concerned a cruise control issue that caused unintended acceleration. One of the most dangerous recalls regarding Chrysler vehicles was due to a design flaw regarding Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee models, whereby the SUVs’ plastic gas tank was located behind and below its rear axle. This design placement led to fuel tanks rupturing in rear-end collisions, which caused explosions and deadly injuries. Despite over 50 deaths attributed to this problem, Chrysler has delayed issuing a proper recall. In 2013, the company offered a fix to the issue by providing owners with a new trailer hitch in order to protect the gas tank. However, since the recall, Chrysler has only repaired eight percent of the 1.56 million recalled vehicles.Bringing a Product Liability Claim
Carmakers must comply with government safety standards and engage in strict performance safety tests on all their vehicles. When companies fail to meet these standards, or safety tests fail, and vehicles are put on the roads anyway, manufacturers should be held liable for the injuries that result. Cars and components can be defective for various reasons, and if a defect is discovered, manufacturers can repair the defect, offer a replacement, or issue a refund. When the defect cannot be resolved in any of these ways, and injuries occur, a victim may pursue a product liability claim.
To hold a manufacturer liable for a faulty vehicle, a consumer usually must show that there was a defect in the design or manufacturing of the vehicle or part. A manufacturing defect occurs when a product breaks from the design plan during the making of the product, usually affecting a certain number of vehicles or parts made at a specific time or place. Manufacturers that put unreasonably dangerous products on the market are strictly liable for any injuries that result.
Design defects are flaws in the basic design of a vehicle that render it inherently dangerous to a consumer, regardless of proper assembly and use. To show a design defect, a consumer must establish that the vehicle was dangerous at the time it was sold, that it was being used in an ordinary or foreseeable way, and that the defect directly caused the victim’s injuries and damages. For example, driving a vehicle and being involved in a rear-end collision is an ordinary and foreseeable use of a car. If an explosion results from a minor crash because of the way the vehicle was designed, a manufacturer can be held liable for the injuries that result.
Once liability is shown, victims typically can be compensated for past and future medical bills, loss of income or earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other types of harm. Product liability cases can often be complex, requiring extensive investigation, expert opinions, and sometimes lengthy court proceedings. Consulting a knowledgeable attorney can be an important step in making sure your rights are properly represented.Seek Legal Guidance when Pursuing Compensation After an Auto Collision
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in Knoxville due to a defective Chrysler vehicle, auto collision attorney Mark C. Hartsoe can help you pursue a claim against the manufacturer or another party that may be responsible. Mr. Hartsoe offers compassionate and experienced representation to Tennessee residents who have sustained injuries in a car accident involving defective vehicles or components. To evaluate whether you may have a claim, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.