Cars should do what their drivers tell them to do – slow down when the brake is pressed and speed up when the gas pedal is pressed, for instance. But, auto defects sometimes cause vehicles to ignore their drivers’ instructions and give them a mind all their own.
Ford Motor Corp. is the latest company to be named in a sudden acceleration lawsuit. According to USA Today, a multistate lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia last month alleging that 2002-2010 Ford Motor vehicles contain a “design defect” in the electronic control of the gas pedals, which makes the vehicles susceptible to sudden, unintended acceleration. The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of Ford owners in 14 states. According to the lawsuit, the alleged defect stems from the lack of brake override technology, which stops a car if both the brake and gas pedal are activated at the same time. The technology was added to all Ford vehicles beginning in 2010.
Plaintiffs are seeking repairs of the problems, as well as compensatory damages equal to the lost value of the affected cars, or in other words, the difference between what they paid for the cars and the value of the defective vehicles.
Ford is not the only company to come under fire for sudden acceleration defects. Toyota recalled more than 10 million of its cars from 2009 to 2011 amidst concerns over unintended acceleration defects and, last fall, Toyota agreed to pay a staggering $1.4 billion to resolve claims regarding problems with sudden and unintended acceleration of its vehicles. The billion dollar settlement would resolve lawsuits brought by owners who claim that the value of their vehicles plummeted as result of the unintended acceleration recalls. The lawsuits regarding injuries and deaths caused by the sudden and unintended acceleration defect remain pending.
The recent lawsuit against Ford has highlighted the dangers that auto defects pose to the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Auto defects, such as the following, can cause serious damage, personal injury and even death:
- Child safety seats
- Defective airbags
- Car fires
- Defective seatbelts
- Tire defects
- Door latch failure
- Steering problems
- Electronic wiring malfunctions
- Sudden acceleration
- Defective brakes
If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of a defective vehicle, you may wish to consult with an attorney. The Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products, including defective vehicles. Contact one of our skilled Chicago personal injury and product liability attorneys at (312) 600-0000 if you would like more information on defective vehicles.