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Experienced Injury Lawyers

Thomas Law Offices Files Class Action for Defective Airbags

Published on Feb 2, 2015 at 10:42 am in Auto Product Liability, Class Actions.

Today, Thomas Law Offices along with the law firm of Strauss Troy filed suit against Takata and Honda for consumers who have one of the many vehicles The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has fined Honda $70 million for its failure to report potential safety problems with its vehicles. This is the largest civil penalty ever levied against a car manufacturer.

Honda withheld data for over a decade, covering over 1700 incidents– including claims of death and injury. This information is supposed to be reported, in a timely manner, to federal authorities.

Not only is Honda in the hotseat, but this decade-long problem raises the question of where were the regulators. The response from Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was to say the NHTSA is now taking “very aggressive steps to address” these problems.

The violations were discovered last year after the problem of defective airbags lead to investigations into carmakers withholding knowledge about potential defects. Last year the Department of Justice fined Toyota $1.2-billion for misleading regulators and the public about safety problems and potential defects. General Motors was also under investigation by regulators for its failure — also over a decade — to disclose data about the defective ignition switch incidents. Last May, GM consented to pay a $35 million fine to settle charges that it failed to alert regulators and the public about this deadly defect.

GM Fails to Notify Original Victims’ Families

Published on Nov 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm in Auto Product Liability.

Jean Averill died in December 2003 when the Saturn Ion she was driving crashed into a tree, and the airbag failed to deploy. Ms. Averill, 81 at the time, was fit and active. The family could never understand how she could swerve off the road and drive into a tree – they presumed she might have had a stroke.

As fate would have it, Ms. Averill’s death was the earliest death General Motors has recorded from the faulty ignition switch, and the first to happen with the Saturn Ion. She was among the original 13 victims of the ignition switch defect that the company has linked to the problem. The company has since revealed that the faulty switch can turn off suddenly, leaving drivers unable to control the car and disabling the airbags.

GM Bailout may Nullify Some Crash Victims’ Claims

Published on Jun 12, 2014 at 8:46 am in Auto Product Liability.

Recent news that heads rolled at General Motors may reassure some that the company is taking responsibility for becoming aware of defective devices in its vehicles but not taking steps to cure the problem before more people died.

Now, lawsuits over the faulty ignition switches are bringing to light a fact many consumers are probably not aware of: when the US government agreed to bail out GM during the recession, the structure of the deal assured GM’s bank lenders were paid back, while leaving many creditors in the dust. Liability appears to have been wiped out for any existing judgments against the company.

This move really adds insult to tragic injury. While the bank debts may have been secured, therefore, technically placing them higher in the bankruptcy repayment order, those banks knew and assumed their lending risks. Families with loved ones killed due to manufacturing defects did not choose to become unsecured creditors.

NHTSA Changes Vehicle Recall Notice Requirements

Published on Aug 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm in Auto Product Liability.

Vehicle recalls deal with hidden defects in a vehicle’s manufacture, design, or labels. A recall warns car owners of a hidden defect and gives vital information on how to get the problem fixed so as to avoid dangerous situations that can cause serious injuries.

Because recalls play such a vital role in driver safety, many experienced Kentucky auto accident attorneys follow recall news closely. Within the next year, recall information will be easier to follow – not only for attorneys, but for all Kentucky residents who rely on their vehicles to take them to work, school, and other events.

Ford and NHTSA Settle Dispute Over Delayed Ford Escape Recall

Published on Aug 7, 2013 at 8:58 am in Auto Product Liability.

Kentucky Auto Product LiabilityThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ford Motor Company recently settled a dispute about a recall of 2001-2004 model year Ford Escape vehicles that the NHTSA said was unreasonably delayed, according to a recent article in Auto Remarketing.

The purpose of recalls is to fix hidden defects in vehicles or any of their parts. Experienced Kentucky auto product liability attorneys know how dangerous hidden defects can be, especially since most drivers cannot detect a defective part until it has already caused damage. Because recalls are crucial to motorist safety, they must be conducted in a timely manner to prevent accidents and protect those who use the affected vehicles.