Earlier this week, the American auto manufacturer Chrysler issued a recall of about 184,000 of its vehicles due to issues related to their airbags. According to a report by the Detroit News, the defect in the vehicles’ airbags was the same type of defect that caused Ford Motor Company to recall approximately 850,000 vehicles earlier this year.
Evidently, the recall affects 2014 models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. The problem is that the vehicles may have internal electrical short-circuits that interfere with the airbags deploying. In other words, the airbag may not deploy when it is supposed to.
In some cases, Chrysler is reporting that the issue may cause the “airbag” light to illuminate on the dashboard of the vehicle.
The defect, which was discovered on October 2 of this year, has yet to cause any serious or fatal accidents. However, it would not be surprising to see some reports come in now that the recall is officially released. Regardless, Chrysler is advising all owners to take their vehicles into the dealership to have the problem parts replaced, free of charge. In the meantime, the company recommends that all drivers and passengers wear their seatbelts.
Product Liability and Automobiles
Car and truck manufacturers, whether based in the United States or not, all have a duty to only sell safe vehicles. When a manufacturer notices that a mass-manufactured vehicle is reportedly having the same kind of safety problem, it may issue a recall to fix the problem.
A recall generally only relates to safety issues, rather than cosmetic or drivability issues. Automotive recalls are almost always performed at the dealership that specializes in that make and model. They are also almost always free, although in some cases there may be a small cost to the vehicle owner.
Auto manufacturers issue these recalls because if they didn’t, they would likely be held liable for the damages caused by the faulty parts. If they offer free replacements of the dangerous parts, however, they can point to that fact when someone is injured by one of the recalled vehicles. In other words, they would ask the owner, “Why didn’t you take your vehicle in for the recall?” This may shift the negligence from the auto manufacturer onto the consumer in some cases. However, this is not the case in all situations.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident Due to a Recalled Vehicle?
If you have recently been involved in an automobile accident that you believe was caused by a recalled vehicle, you may be entitled to monetary damages. As mentioned above, car manufacturers are savvy at escaping liability whenever possible and will do their best not to pay out on even the most valid claim. Therefore, it is best to talk to a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney before proceeding with this type of case. Call 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation with a dedicated attorney today.
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Baltimore Boy Awarded Over $2 Million in Lead-Exposure Case, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 8, 2014.