Dangerous vehicles and vehicle parts can be a contributing factor to serious Tuscaloosa car accidents resulting in injury and even death.
Most of the time, when companies become aware of design flaws that could make their products unsafe, they issue a recall.
Currently, we have one manufacturer who has issued a massive recall and another that is refusing to do so.
It’s worth noting that a company can be held liable for accidents and injuries caused as a result of their defect, regardless of whether a recall is issued. Still, the issuance of one, particularly when there is a recommendation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, shows good faith that the manufacturer is doing all it can to protect the safety of consumers.
In the first case, Ford Motor has issued a recall of nearly half a million 2013 model cars because of a fuel leak that can potentially lead to fires. The problem was red-flagged on current model Interceptor Sedans, Interceptor Utility, Fusion, Flex Taurus and Explorer models.
A spokesman for the company said it hasn’t been notified of any injuries or even fire incidents as a result of the leak, but it has had more than 600 complaints about the fuel leak since the end of March.
A similar fuel line defect in the automaker’s current-model Escape caused the company to recall that model as well, also for risk of fire, just last year. The company took the unusual step at the time of warning drivers not to drive the vehicles at all until they could be fixed. Such a warning hasn’t been issued this go-around.
In addition to the larger recall, Ford also issued two much smaller recalls – one for an engine block heater with potential to crack and another for potential steering control loss due to a missing retaining clip.
At the same time, Chrysler Group is refusing a request by the NHTSA to recall nearly 3 million sport utility vehicles that the federal agency says are at risk of fire. The government says that the gas tanks in certain models of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys are not safe.
This is the first time in 17 years that an auto manufacturer has resisted a demand for recall by the NHTSA. That case too involved Chrysler, and it was over a seat belt system installed in more than 90,000 cars.
Chrysler said the design of the gas tank is accepted in lots of other types of vehicles, and that any fatalities attributed to it involved high-speed accidents in which the design of the tank wouldn’t have made a difference one way or the other. NHTSA disputes those contentions.
The federal agency has recalled more than 500 million vehicles since 1996 in some 17,000 separate notices.
An inquiry into the Chrysler models was launched by the NHTSA at the behest of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington D.C. The public interest research group reports there have been more than 200 firey crashes with nearly 300 deaths involving the Cherokees and nearly 40 accidents resulting in more than 50 deaths involving the Liberty model.