Over 254 million passenger vehicles are registered across the United States, and every day, millions of Americans will get behind the wheel of a car, truck, van, or SUV. We count on our cars and other vehicles to be well designed, sturdily built, and rigorously tested for safety — but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, automotive manufacturers fail to test a vehicle or a vehicle accessory thoroughly. When safety tests are rushed or neglected in the interest of pushing a product onto the consumer market, the innocent people who purchase and use these vehicles can be severely and permanently injured, or even killed. The consequences of accidents due to defective designs, components, or accessories can be absolutely devastating to the victims and their families.
Not only do dangerous and defective vehicles cause serious physical injury, the accidents they cause frequently lead to debilitating emotional trauma and costly medical bills as well. When you are already struggling to cope with your physical pain, psychological wounds, and healthcare expenses, the last thing you want to do is engage in a draining, frustrating battle with insurance companies and their representatives. Is there any legal action you can take?
Reiff & Bily: Auto Defect Attorneys
You should not have to accept the financial consequences of an accident which was caused by someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident caused by a defective automobile, you may have a strong case for a defective product liability claim. At Reiff & Bily, we are seasoned auto defect lawyers supported by over 34 years of experience. We have spent more than three decades providing aggressive, effective legal representation to the men and women of Pennsylvania in a wide variety of auto accident claims. Our legal team has extensive experience handling automotive defects including but not limited to:
- Defective Air Bags
- Defective Child Seats
- Defective Seat Belts
- Defective Tires
- Exploding Gas Tanks
We are committed to our clients, and we will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to see that justice is served. While filing a liability claim cannot heal your physical injuries, a financial recovery can help to cover your medical costs, hold the guilty party accountable for their actions, and potentially save others from being hurt by the same product failures and defects in the future. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an auto defect, call Reiff & Bily today at (800) 861-6708.
Major Defects & Recalls
Negligent auto manufacturers are liable for the pain and suffering caused by poorly designed or tested vehicles. Dangerous defects have led to major recalls on several occasions in recent years.
Toyota is one of the largest auto manufacturers in the world, selling close to 10 million vehicles in 2013 alone. But while Toyota products are popular, they can also be very dangerous.
In April of 2014, Toyota announced five large-scale recalls affecting over 6 million vehicles around the world. These recalls covered a staggering 27 models, including best-sellers like the Camry, the Corolla, and the Highlander. Of the 6.39 million recalled vehicles, 2 million were located in North America.
Problems behind the recall included a defective air bag cable and seat rails. In 2009 and 2010, Toyota recalled nearly 4 million vehicles after it was discovered that a poorly designed floor mat could jam accelerators and prevent braking. Tragically, this particular recall came too late for Mark Saylor and his family, who were killed when their Lexus ES350 accelerated to over 100 miles per hour due to this defect.
In 2014, Toyota agreed to settle the matter for $1.2 billion. According to FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos, the auto manufacturer “put sales over safety and profit over principle,” leading to the wrongful deaths of four innocent people.
In 2001, the Ford Explorer was a best-selling SUV. However, the Explorer had two dangerous problems: a center of gravity placed too high on the vehicle could easily lead to a fatal rollover accident, and the vehicle’s Firestone tires suffered from an extremely high failure rate. In 2001, over 250 fatalities and 3,000 serious injuries were attributed to this deadly combination, leading to a massive recall which affected more than 2.8 million tires.
GM (General Motors)
In February of 2014, GM recalled more than 2.6 million cars after 13 deaths were linked to a malfunctioning ignition switch. The switch malfunction could put a moving car into “accessory mode,” effectively disabling power steering, power brakes, and airbag function. As of April, 2014, GM is facing more than 36 lawsuits related to the defective ignition switch. The recall affected numerous models, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Pontiac G5, and the Saturn Ion.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to an auto defect, you may be able to recover damages for the suffering you and your family have endured. To schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with a Pennsylvania auto defect lawyer, call the law offices of Reiff & Bily at (800) 861-6708, or contact us online.