Cincinnati, Ohio Product Liability Lawyer Reviewing Unintended Acceleration Claims
Uncontrolled acceleration, also called unexplained acceleration and sudden acceleration, describes a dangerous situation where a vehicle speeds up without any action by the driver.
In recent years, a large number of accidents and resulting injuries and deaths have been attributed to the unintended acceleration of a car. Sudden acceleration accidents may involve the simultaneous failure of a vehicle’s acceleration and brake systems.
While injuries accumulate, and consumer safety experts raise concerns about keeping safe roadways, auto manufacturers have regularly deflected accountability and have blamed drivers themselves for accidents. Some car companies have not admitted to any design or mechanical defect, however these terrifying instances continue to occur.
If you were involved in an accident after your car suddenly accelerated for no reason, you may be able to take legal action and file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
With a personal injury and product liability lawsuit, you can potentially recover full compensation to cover medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, and loss of potential earnings.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Catastrophic Injury and Ohio product liability lawyer, with years of experience investigating the causes of serious auto accidents, and settling sudden acceleration accident claims nationwide.
Unintended Acceleration Accidents
Toyota models have generated hundreds of complaints and injuries, eventually leading to a huge recall. In some cases, drivers complained of engines revving up when brakes were applied. Companies recalled many vehicles and examined electronic software.
In other cases, the plastic pad beneath the driver’s side floor mat interfered with the accelerator pedal and may have caused it to become stuck in an accelerated position.
As modern vehicles are made with more software-driven features, the possibility that computer systems conceal defects is a real concern. Auto manufacturers are often focused on innovation as a first priority instead of safety, and do not always test vehicle components properly. Some discovered design and manufacturing defects in uncontrolled acceleration accidents may involve the following:
- Pedal misapplication
- Unresponsive (entrapped) pedals
- Floor mat interference
- Sticky Pedals
- Cruise control malfunction
- Stuck throttle
Defective Throttle Recalls
In 2009, Toyota agreed to an auto recall of 4.3 million vehicles to modify their gas pedals and remove unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mats which allegedly caused unintended acceleration accidents and catastrophic injuries.
A problem in the electronic throttle body used in Ford Motor cars has allegedly caused road accidents and lead to throttle lawsuits. Ford has stated that the Delphi throttle body is prone to failure, which causes the vehicle to stall or to suddenly decelerate without warning.
The Delphi throttle body is operated by electric motors linked to the accelerator pedal. Product Liability lawyers say the Ford throttle issue causes a loss of connectivity between the throttle and the powertrain control, and rapidly cuts the speed of the vehicle. Some vehicles targeted in defective throttle lawsuits include:
- Ford Mustang
- Ford Edge
- Ford F-150
- Jeep Cherokee
- Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Patriot
Sudden Acceleration Accidents
Car accidents frequently occur as a result of auto defects, some of which lead to catastrophic injury and product liability lawsuits. It is not unusual to link an automobile accident to a defect related to a vehicle—unintended acceleration and defective throttles are particularly dangerous defects.
To properly investigate a defective throttle or another auto defect, it is prudent to hire an experienced attorney who can work closely with auto engineers and experts to determine the cause of the accident. Defective Throttle Lawsuits typically involve one or more of the following defects:
- Throttle malfunction engages the accelerator pedal while stuck in the floor mat
- Faulty throttle is corrosion-based with rusting or broken throttle linkages.
- Electronic Defects: throttle control systems may be designed improperly or built defective. Failure of electronic components may not be apparent until after a serious auto accident occurs.
Common Throttle Defects
Fuel-injected cars use a throttle body as part of an intake system that controls the amount of air flowing into an engine. The intake and throttle should be a direct function of how far the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
Stepping on the pedal initiates a sensor called a throttle position sensor which is meant to measure zero acceleration to full acceleration. This sensor relays the pedal position to adjust fuel injection and speed. Should this system be faulty, sudden acceleration and stalling could occur and lead to serious car accidents and catastrophic injuries.
Throttle problems can be related to dirt and grime, design defects, manufacturing defects, electrical defects, or vacuum leaks. Throttle Defects can present in the following manners:
- The ‘Check Engine’ Light is activated
- Car is Jerking or Hesitating when accelerating
- Idle Surging
- Stalling Engine
- Difficulty while changing gears.
- Fuel economy of a car drops
Auto Defect Injuries
Thousands of American motorists are at risk when car manufacturers fail to produce safe components and do not adhere to normal safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sudden acceleration can lead to a serious accidents when a motorist is unable to control the car’s throttle. The resulting injuries can include:
- Orthopedic Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Rollover Injuries
- Neck & Spinal Injury
- Burn Injuries
- Neck & Spinal Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Uncontrolled Acceleration Lawsuits
Legal action is necessary after auto defects are discovered because not only do victims need to be compensated for injuries and damages, but manufactures must be held responsible for their corporate actions. Motorists and victims in Ohio should document their accident and contact an experienced attorney to take appropriate measures.
Several auto companies have been sued in recent years in product liability lawsuits, resulting in large settlements and rightful compensation for accident victims.
In 2014, Toyota Motor settled with the Justice Department for $1.2 billion after the company lied to regulators and the public for years about the sudden acceleration of its vehicles. Toyota’s alleged negligence led to numerous preventable injuries and fatalities.
Toyota admitted that it misled Americans by making untrue statements about the safety problems that caused an unintended acceleration. There have been a number of similar cases in the last 20 years, and auto manufacturers must be held accountable to ensure safety standards are met in the future.
Contact an Auto Defect Lawyer
There may be several factors and individual safety issues linked to sudden acceleration accidents, including defective design and manufacturing defects. Floor mats that stick or catch to gas pedals can lead to deadly road accidents.
Car and motorcycle manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe before they are sold to consumers. Should they fail to properly test vehicles and an accident occurs, victims may contact an accelerator defect lawyer to investigate and file a product liability claim.
The Lyon Firm works with Accident Investigators to determine the root cause of a sudden acceleration accident and identifies who may be held accountable to recover compensation and damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an unintended acceleration 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 these critical questions.