As if there weren’t enough reasons to be concerned about motor vehicle safety, another major safety scandal has erupted and continues to unfold. Atlanta and Georgia residents are undoubtedly aware of news of auto industry deceptions that include major car manufacturers. The recall of General Motors’ cars with faulty ignition switches has been in the news for some time now. The ignition switch recall has been more intensely covered locally. An Atlanta area victim lost her life due to the faulty switch and her family filed an Atlanta wrongful death action against the car manufacturer which was ultimately settled out of court.
Another recall that is making news is that of Takata Industries’ airbags. Takata manufactures airbags that have been installed in many vehicles made by various manufacturers. This recall is pervasive because the airbags are found in so many vehicles. The defective airbags can cause serious injury and death due to shrapnel that is inside them. Georgia also has a connection to the defective airbags, some of which were manufactured in a LaGrange plant which has been closed for some time now. Several of the fatalities involving the airbags were from the LaGrange, Georgia plant. Initially, Takata denied the problem with its airbags, but then entered into an agreement with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and has been cooperating with regulators to recall the millions of impacted vehicles which hopefully will avoid future fatal or catastrophic injuries. The problem with the airbags is in part due to the infiltration of moisture into the devices and has been more of a concern in the southern states. The serious injuries and deaths have been caused when the airbag’s inflator has ignited with such force that it causes the inflator housing to rupture. The metal shards from the airbag can be propelled into the vehicle’s cabin causing harm to both driver and passengers.
If these huge recalls were not enough to give the driving public pause, Volkswagen is now in what is most likely the worst scandal in its long history. The German car-maker is admitting to having secretly placed software in their vehicles that allows them to pass emissions tests, when those vehicles are actually spewing pollutants. These three major recalls stack up to look like some sort of consumer deception fictitious novel or horror story, but it is all fact.
If you don’t own a General Motors car or truck, a vehicle that has an affected Takata airbag or a Volkswagen with defrauding software, why should this matter to you? Why should it matter that VW was able to sell their cars, including Audi’s, with hidden software intended to deceive? It matters because the culture of deception in any industry that manufactures products on which we rely for safety and security, is dangerous for all of us.
Some readers will recall the terrifying cases involving the old Ford Pinto. Many were killed or injured in car accidents while driving this small car. It turns out Ford was aware of the problem with the rear axle being too close to the vehicle’s fuel tank. They knew that when the vehicle was rear-ended, there was a danger that the fuel tank would explode. In the Pinto litigation, victims’ lawyers were able to uncover the design defect and show that the manufacturer knew of this problem, but did want to incur the cost of redesigning the vehicle.
As injury lawyers, Scholle Law, is dedicated to ensuring product safety for the American consumer. When a defective product causes injury or death, victims turn to us for the tenacious, compassionate representation for which we are known. This includes the investigation and research needed to discover why the product or vehicle caused harm. We are dedicated to determining the causes of injuries to our clients and go after all those responsible for causing harm. Please contact us if you have been harmed by what well could be a defective product.