The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on July 29, 2011 that Ford is recalling 1.1 million pickup trucks due to defective fuel tanks.Â Reports have indicated that prolonged exposure to road deicing chemicals may cause severe corrosion of the fuel tank straps that secure the tank to the vehicle, allowing the fuel lines to separate from the tank and, in some cases, causing the tank to contact the ground, which poses a fire hazard. Ford will soon begin notifying the owners of vehicles affected by the recall, instructing them to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln dealer where the fuel tank straps will be replaced with straps that have increased corrosion protection.Â If replacement straps are not available, the dealer may install a cable support under the strap as an interim repair until a replacement strap is available or install a steel reinforcement over the existing strap as a permanent repair.Â The fuel tank strap repair will be performed free of charge. Which Ford Trucks Are Affected By the Recall? The recall involves the following Ford vehicles: Certain Ford F-150s for model years 1997 to 2003 2004 Ford F-150 Heritage Ford F-250 for model years 1997-1999 2003 Lincoln Blackwood vehicles manufactured between June 29, 1995 and August 4, 2004 What Is the Status of Other Ford Vehicle Defects? A circuit court judge in Florida recently set aside the decision of a jury finding that Ford was not liable for damages and injuries caused by the sudden acceleration of its Aerostar van.Â Judge Swigert found that Fordâ€™s misconduct had amounted to â€œa â€œfundamental errorâ€ that had deprived plaintiffs of a fair trial and ordered a new trial on the issues of compensatory and punitive damages.Â Judge Swigertâ€™s opinion found â€œclear and convincing evidenceâ€ that Ford had engaged in fraud, misrepresentation and other misconduct that justified setting aside the juryâ€™s verdict in favor of Ford and issuing a new verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs.Â For more information on the decision in Stimpson v. Ford, see our recent blog post. Ford also recently recalled more than 26,000 vehicles, as well as service parts shipped to dealers for the affected vehicles, due to a risk that the multi-function switch can become deformed and prevent the turn signal, tail lights, hazard warning flashers and brake lights from activating, which could in turn increase the risk of a collision.Â The recall[READ MORE…]
A circuit court judge in Florida recently set aside a jury verdict in favor of Ford Motor Co., finding that Fordâ€™s misconduct had amounted to â€œa â€œfundamental errorâ€ that deprived plaintiffs of a fair trial and justified a new trial.Â The lawsuit alleged that plaintiffsâ€™ Aerostar van suddenly accelerated during gear engagement and traveled more than 100 feet before hitting a utility pole, causing disabling injuries to plaintiff Peggy Stimpson.Â Plaintiffs asserted liability by Ford based on strict liability, negligence and punitive damages for fraudulent concealment of a defect.Â Ford denied the allegations and, following a four-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in Fordâ€™s favor. Plaintiffs appealed the decision, arguing requesting that the court vacate the judgment and order a new trial.Â At the heart of the plaintiffsâ€™ appeal was whether or not Ford had repeatedly used fraudulent tactics to conceal the truth about risks associated with electromagnetic interference with the cruise control function of vehicle, which has caused numerous injuries and deaths. Judge Swigertâ€™s opinion harshly criticized Ford Motor Co. and found that that there was â€œclear and convincing evidenceâ€ that Ford had engaged in fraud, misrepresentation and other misconduct that justified setting aside the juryâ€™s verdict in favor of Ford and issuing a new verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs.Â Specifically, Judge Swigert found that Ford Motor Co. had engaged in the following misconduct: (1)Â Â Ford had destroyed Service Investigation Reports within one year even though they were required by federal law to retain the reports for 5 years and had concealed years of research and evidence dating back to the 1970s that indicated a possible electromagnetic interference problem that could cause sudden acceleration – information which, if disclosed, would have allowed the federal government to become aware of the electronic defects with the cruise control function that can cause sudden acceleration problem sooner. (2)Â Â Ford made false claims regarding its knowledge of the electronic defect and knew that the 1989 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report was based on false information. (3)Â Â Despite its request to exclude testimony from an expert witness of the plaintiffs, Ford introduced the testimony on cross-examination and insinuated that plaintiffsâ€™ counsel had concealed certain information. (4)Â Â Ford had generally presented false and misleading testimony to the jury. Judge Swigert also reprimanded Fordâ€™s attorney for insinuating that plaintiffsâ€™ lawyer had concealed information by excluding the testimony of one of plaintiffsâ€™[READ MORE…]
Illinois law already requires all front seat passengers and â€œchildrenâ€ under age 19 to wear seat belts. The new law requires any person, child or adult, riding in the backseat to buckle up.
With spring approaching so is graduation season and with itâ€“ graduation parties. Many people wonder about their responsibility and liability when they serve alcohol in their homes for a graduation party where minors and young adults are attending. The State of Illinois considers a host of the party to be a â€œSocial Hostâ€ or those who supply alcohol gratuitously or â€œout of courtesy or politeness.â€
Chicago Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Illinois Personal Injury Attorney The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 was introduced in May 2010 following a series of Toyota recalls caused by an unintended acceleration defect.Â The bill is designed to improve vehicle safety standards in order protect drivers, enhance the oversight authority and resources of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and increased manufacturer accountability. Improved Safety Standards The bill includes the following provisions designed to improve vehicle safety standards: Stopping Distance and Brake Override Functionality â€“ Every car would be required to stop within a certain distance and include a brake override feature. Pedal Placementâ€“ Minimum distances between floor pedals, between foot pedals and the vehicle floor, and between any other obstacles to pedal movement would be required. Electronic Systems Performanceâ€“Passenger vehicles would be required to meet minimum performance standards for electronic systems (currently there are no such standards). Keyless Ignition Systemsâ€“A standard would be created by the NHTSA to require that a vehicle could be brought under control by using a keyless ignition system. Vehicle Event Data Recorders (EDRs) â€“ Manufacturers would be required to install EDRs in all new vehicles to record crash data at least 60 seconds prior to and 15 seconds after a vehicle crash and airbag deployment. Transmission Configuration Standard â€“ Manufacturers would be required to accurately label gear shifting controls and utilize a practical placement for such controls. Enhanced Safety Authority The bill also contained certain provisions intended to strengthen the NHTSAâ€™s ability to oversee auto manufacturers and take immediate action to remove unsafe vehicles from the market, including: Increased Civil Penalties â€“ Civil penalties for automakers that intentionally fail to report safety defects or provide misleading information to the NHTSA would be increased to $25,000 per vehicle from its current penalty of $5,000 per vehicle. Imminent Hazard Authority â€“ NHTSA would have authority to prevent further sales of a vehicle if an auto defect is deemed to create an imminent hazard that could lead to death and serious injuries. Increased Accountability The bill also included a number of provisions designed to keep consumers informed of safety defects and upgrades, including: Improved Early Warning Reporting System â€“ NHTSAâ€™s early warning system would be modernized to allow consumers to more easily use and understand the online database of vehicle defect reports. Vehicle Defect Reporting â€“ Manufacturers would be required to place a sticker or other[READ MORE…]
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