Product Liability Lawyer and Auto Defect Attorney reviewing Door Latch Defects on Vans and SUVS for plaintiffs nationwide
One of the most dangerous types of vehicle accidents occurs when a collision causes a faulty door latch to open, and motorists are thrown from the vehicle, leading to severe crush injuries. Car safety standards have been strengthened in recent years to protect consumers from such incidents, yet defective door latch accidents continue to happen in Ohio and throughout the nation.
Auto defects account for thousands of preventable injuries each year, and injured motorists and passengers can file personal injury claims against car makers responsible for producing and selling defective cars to consumers. Settlements in door latch defect lawsuits can compensate victims for medical expenses, pain and suffering, long-term disability and for other damages.
For decades, the safety of car, SUV and van occupants has been compromised by door latch defects. As early as 1996, General Motors was targeted by car accident victims and product liability lawyers who claimed defective door latch issues were directly causing severe injuries.
Recently, Ford Motor has been in the center of the door latch defect debate, and attorneys allege that a failure to properly design and manufacture safe door latches has endangered consumers. Ford was forced to recall the most popular vehicle in the U.S., the Ford F-150, years 2015 through 2017 to fix a defect that could cause doors to open while driving. The recall covers about 1.1 million vehicles in the U.S.
Following a serious auto accident, victims should contact an experienced lawyer to investigate. Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Catastrophic Lawyer and experienced Ohio Product Liability Attorney reviewing Auto Defect Cases and defective door latch recalls.
Door Latch Defects & Recent Auto Recalls
The recent Ford recall involving defective door latches has actually been a continuing safety issue for years. Ford has now recalled almost 4 million vehicles in total due to faulty door latches. The latest warning from Ford states that defective door latches can freeze, actuation cables could become bent, ultimately preventing a door from closing or opening.
“The latch may not fully engage the door striker with the potential that the door could open while driving, increasing the risk of injury,” Ford said in a recall statement.
In addition to the F-150 recalls, Ford Motor Company recalled their Ford Focus, Ford Escape and Ford C-MAX, Lincoln MKC and Ford Mustang because a component within the defective door latch may break, preventing the doors from closing.
General Motors considered a recall in the 1990s that caused countless injuries and deaths, but chose not to recall defective door latches until victims and product liability attorneys held the automaker liable.
36,000 model-year 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport SUVs were recalled because door latch mechanisms may not latch securely in high temperatures, allowing the doors to open while the vehicle is in motion, increasing the risk of an injury. Mitsubishi was found guilty of concealing evidence about its knowledge of door latch failures in its vehicles.
Door latch failures may occur because:
- Defective Door Latch Design
- Mechanical problems prohibit proper door latch operation
- Incorrect installation of door latches
- Failing remote rod: a remote road is the device that connects the latch and handle of the car door. Remote rods can fail during an auto impact, and a door may open.
Door Latch Defects & Lawsuits
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a road fatality is 23-times more likely if a passenger or driver is thrown out of a vehicle during or after a collision.
With faulty door latches, injury is more likely to be fatal if occupants are ejected during an accident. Ohio product liability lawyers are working to hold automakers responsible for manufacturing safe car doors and car door latches. The auto components that are installed on a vehicle should be able to safely withstand certain amounts of force and impact to protect passengers.
Design defects and negligent manufacturing of a car door latch can lead to passengers getting either thrown from a vehicle or trapped in a burning vehicle following a crash. When automakers fail to sell safe and reliable vehicles, and ignore federal safety standards, they may be liable for damages and injuries sustained in a car crash. Victims of auto defects can recover costs related to medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Lyon Firm has experience filing injury and defect claims against large auto companies who fail to protect consumers. To build the strongest case possible, preserve all evidence related to door latch defects and injuries sustained, including witness testimony and photos of any accident scene.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an auto accident, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding door latch defects.