Most cars are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe. But when something goes wrong and a vehicle needs to be recalled, companies may face a product liability lawsuit from those injured due to the defective product.
Nearly 230,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans have been recalled in Massachusetts and 20 other “salt belt” states. The vehicles had a rust defect in the latching ability of the third-row passenger seats, which became loose after having corroded. Fortunately, although 80 complaints have been filed, there have not yet been any reports of injuries.
The federal government sets minimum safety standards for all vehicles in the United States. These standards cover the parts related to the safe operation of a vehicle, such as brakes or tires. However, there are also standards for a vehicle’s safety features, such as airbags and seatbelts. A car may be recalled if it does not conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In addition, recalls may be made if the vehicle is later found to be defective in a manner that has the potential to harm people. This recall can extend to all vehicles of the same manufacturer and design if they all contain the same defective component. Some examples of safety defects include steering wheels that suddenly break, accelerators that stick, and seats that fail to remain in their proper position while in use.
Defective vehicles can cause serious damage or even injury if they malfunction while on the road. Through proper recall procedures, manufacturers can keep these cars off the road and keep their buyers safe.
Source: Torque News, “Ford recalls over 230k minivans due to rust problem,” Anthony Faccenda, March 8, 2013