Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Defective Vehicle Lawsuits

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Victims of car crashes are often unaware that a defective vehicle or component part may have contributed to, worsened or caused the incident. Unfortunately, these manufacturing defects can lead to serious and sometimes fatal accidents. Even worse, some manufacturers knew of the defects and attempted to hide them. We represent victims of car crashes in complex vehicle defect litigation, utilizing document and liability discovery and experts in vehicle engineering and safety. Our attorneys have represented clients in product defect cases involving vehicle rollover, occupant protection, ABS malfunction, window glazing, roof crushing and tire de-treading.

Was my crash caused by a vehicle defect?

The following are indicators that defective vehicle manufacture or defective vehicle parts may have been a central factor in a passenger vehicle crash or incident:

  • a fire or explosion occurred during or immediately following the crash
  • a tire blew out, separated or failed just prior to or during the crash
  • air bags did not deploy or failed to timely deploy
  • car seats and car seatbacks are not in their normal location or position
  • doors, hatchbacks or tailgates came open during the crash
  • occupants were thrown from the vehicle during the crash
  • one vehicle in the crash had significantly more severe damage than the other
  • the passenger area lost its integrity and did not adequately protect the vehicle occupants
  • the steering wheel is bent or misshapen as is the air bag compartment,
  • the vehicle rolled over
  • the vehicle roof is crushed, caved in or collapsed
  • cruise control stuck or suddenly accelerated

We are currently representing and accepting new clients in the following vehicle defect cases:

Takata airbags

Roughly 100 million vehicles have been recalled globally for defective airbags made by Takata Corp. These faulty airbags may explode unexpectedly, shooting scraps of metal casing at passengers. At least 25 deaths and hundreds of injuries have been linked to the defect. If you’ve been injured by a Takata airbag or if you own a vehicle installed with this potentially lethal device, you may have a claim.

NADI Takata airbags

A newly discovered defect involving Takata Non-Azide Driver Air Bag Inflators (NADI) prompted a recall of nearly 3 million BMW, Audi, Honda, Isuzu, Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles in 2019. The latest defect affects front driver inflators that have insufficient seals which may deteriorate over time when exposed to humidity and moisture. As a result, the inflators may explode too quickly causing airbags to rupture, potentially injuring, or even killing vehicle drivers and passengers. If you or a loved one has been injured, you may have a claim. Read more.

Fiat Chrysler gear shift defects

Roughly 1.1 million vehicles have been recalled due to a defective gear shift system that has allegedly caused some Fiat Chrysler vehicles to unexpectedly roll away. The defect could potentially cause injuries and even death to motorists who mistakenly believe that their vehicle is in park. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a defective Fiat Chrysler gearshift, you may have a claim. 

GM catastrophic injuries

Our team is currently reviewing and representing clients in claims related to GM’s ignition switch defects that led to injuries, fatalities and/or financial losses. Learn more about our work regarding catastrophic injuries and economic loss involving recalled GM vehicles.

Contact a vehicle defects attorney

If you or someone you know is interested in seeking legal recourse as a result of a car crash involving one or more of the above vehicle defect indicators, contact our personal injury team by email or call 1.800.768.4026.

Vehicle defect lawsuits

Motley Rice attorneys have been honored to represent, together with co-counsel, people and families affected by major vehicle defect lawsuits.

Vehicle rollovers

Hayward v. Ford (2005)
Following a tragic accident in which a woman was killed when her rented 2000 Ford Explorer flipped over and the roof crumpled, a South Carolina jury found that Ford Motor Company was liable and ordered damages paid to the family. The lawsuit, brought by Motley Rice and co-counsel, alleged that Ford Motor Company sold its Explorer SUV model with the knowledge that it was prone to rollovers and that both the windows and roof were built with potentially fatal defects.

Defective door latches 

Guzman v. Ford (2001)
The families of two sisters who died when their 1999 Ford F-150 ran off the road and rolled over reached a settlement with Ford Motor Company for an undisclosed amount. The suit alleged that a defective door latch contributed to both women’s deaths.

For a number of years, Ford Motor Company was allegedly aware of a defective door latch that could cause the door to open during a side impact crash or vehicle rollover, resulting in serious injury or death. This defective latch was allegedly installed in more than 4 million vehicles in the US and Canada, particularly the 1997-2000 models of Ford F-150 and F-250 Super Light Duty pickups and Expedition SUV, and the Lincoln Blackwood pickup and Navigator SUV. The suit alleged that Ford fraudulently concealed this defect from the general public, thereby threatening public health and safety.

Firestone tires

In re Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. Tires Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1373
Following reports of dozens, and later more than 250, deaths involving Ford Explorer drivers losing control and flipping over due to a tire blowout, an investigation found three Bridgestone/Firestone tire models with a high failure rate. Following the tire maker’s recall of 6.5 million tires at a cost of approximately $440 million, Bridgestone/Firestone settled with Ford Motor Company for $240 million.

Defective seatbacks (Chrysler, Ford, GM and Saturn)

Lloyd v. General Motors Corp et al (No. 10)
A defect in more than half a million vehicles manufactured by General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Daimler Chrysler Corporation and Saturn Corporation allegedly causes the car seats to deform or collapse rearward in rear-impact collisions, leading to serious bodily injury or death. On behalf of residents of the state of Maryland, Motley Rice filed a suit, along with co-counsel, against these vehicle manufacturers to recover the cost of repairing and/or replacing the front seats in each class vehicle.

Motley Rice LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, is engaged in the New Jersey practice of law through Motley Rice New Jersey LLC. Esther Berezofsky attorney responsible for New Jersey practice.

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