When an automobile manufacturer knowingly designs a vehicle in a way that could pose a risk to the driver and passengers of the vehicle, they could be subject to a product liability lawsuit. Negligence or ignorance on their part can turn accidents that would otherwise be minor into serious accidents with sometimes fatal outcomes.
As many as 50 or more people may have died as a result of an automobile design defect on Jeep Grand Cherokees and Liberties. Chrysler Group, the manufacturer of the vehicles, has long maintained that these models were not defective and were actually some of the safest in their particular class of vehicles. Investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate otherwise. They determined that the fuel tank, which is located behind the rear axle, is too far back. When the vehicles are rear-ended the fuel tank can become punctured, leak fuel and ignite. As a result, the NHTSA asked Chrysler to voluntarily recall 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees as well as 2002-2007 Libertys. It was predicted that Chrysler would not comply, but in a move that surprised many the company recently issued a product recall on over 1.5 million vehicles. It appears that the recall may have been more of a public relations move rather than a public safety move. Either way, the vehicles were voluntarily recalled and Chrysler will do what is necessary to make them safer.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury or died as a result of a fire in one of the model year vehicles recalled by Chrysler, you may want to consult with an attorney. Even if the accident was caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent manufacturer because the vehicle did not perform as expected.
Source: NBCNews.com, â€œChrysler backs down, agrees to recall 1.56 million older-model Jeeps,â€ June 18, 2013