Motor-vehicle defects—including those in software that controls a vehicle’s operation— can result in vehicle malfunction, accidents, injuries, and death. In July 2015, Ford Motor Company (Ford) issued a recall of approximately 433,000 vehicles after a defect was discovered in the vehicles’ body-control-module software. The software bug may cause the engines of certain 2015 Focus, C-MAX, and Escape vehicles to remain on even after the ignition key is turned to the off position and the key removed or after the Engine Start/Stop button is pressed. While no related accidents or injuries have been reported by Ford, this defect poses serious rollaway dangers to consumers. Ford has stated that dealers will “update” the affected software at no cost to consumers.
Defective motor vehicles have the potential to cause serious injury and wrongful death. The Killino Firm’s auto- and car-accident attorneys have extensive experience with cases arising out of accidents caused by defective and dangerous products, including motor vehicles. If you have been injured or one of your loved ones has been killed due to a defective product, contact us for more information about your legal rights and options.
Who May be Held Legally Responsible for Accident Injuries and Deaths Caused by Motor-Vehicle Defects?
Ford and other car manufacturers are required to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) in their production of motor vehicles. While the software defect that led to this particular recall may have resulted from Ford’s noncompliance with FMVSS related to theft protection and rollaway prevention, Ford may be found liable for injuries and deaths caused by this or another vehicle defect, even if the company had fully complied with all relevant FMVSS. This is so because products-liability law allows a products-liability plaintiff to hold certain defendants liable for injuries and deaths found to have been caused by certain types of product defects even if the defendants complied with current regulations and industry standards and were not negligent in producing the defective product or releasing it to the public.
This liability “without fault” is known as strict liability and fairly places the responsibility for injuries caused by dangerous and defective products on the entities that produce and sell them rather than on those they have injured. If a plaintiff can establish that a vehicle contained a defect in its design, manufacture, or warnings both at the time the vehicle was sold and when the injury-causing accident occurred, the defective vehicle’s manufacturer, and others in the chain of the vehicle’s production and distribution, may be held legally responsible for injuries determined to have been caused by the vehicle defect.
Obtain Legal Assistance from The Killino Firm, P.C.
The Killino Firm has been recognized across the country for its skillful representation of people who have been injured by defective motor vehicles and other products. If you have been injured or one of your family members has died in this manner, our personal-injury and wrongful-death attorneys can help you obtain the justice you deserve.