Two Major Auto Manufacturers Recall over a Million Vehicles

The Automobile Collision Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. take note of two recent auto manufacturer recalls, affecting more than a million vehicles, of various types and years, that present serious safety concerns to motorists, in the event a crash were to occur. On Tuesday, Chrysler announced a recall of more than 184,000 vehicles due to a short circuit issue that could potentially disable airbags and seat-belt petitioners. This announcement comes just three weeks following a recall by Ford Motor Co. affecting an estimated 850,000 vehicles, for the same restraint control module part.

As provided in Ford Motor Company’s media statement, the recall affects certain 2013 and 2014 models of the Ford C-Max, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. According to Chrysler’s media statement, the recall affects certain 2014 models of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. If you feel you have a vehicle that may be subject to the recall, Chysler encourages motorists to call Chrysler Group’s Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403, while Ford Motor Co. states that dealers will replace the restraint control module on affected vehicles at no charge to the customer.

Although both automakers report that they are not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue, it is too soon to tell what impact the recall has already had, or will have in the future upon accident victims. As personal injury attorneys that practice both auto negligence and products liability, we find the magnitude of these recalls, while only a sixth in size of the GM recall, to be quite concerning.

In addition, we take issue with the fact that the maker of the restraint control module, Robert Bosch, has not made recall-related information available its primary website, but rather discusses the protection offered by passive safety restraint systems, and, ironically, the “reliability” of such components:

“With over 30 years of experience Bosch develops and manufactures advanced and reliable occupant and pedestrian protection electronics which precisely trigger passive safety systems such as airbags and seat-belt tensioners in the event of a crash or collision. We thus help vehicle manufacturers to provide better protection for both vehicle occupants and other road users.” [Source]

Given the recent recall, we do not find the language provided by Bosch regarding reliability, nor claims of helping vehicle manufactures to ‘provide better protection’ to be a fully honest and accurate statements. Both automakers and their suppliers owe a duty to consumers to prevent defective products from entering the stream of commerce, and further, upon becoming aware of potential safety issues, should take adequate measures to inform the public. As product liability attorneys, we feel that Bosch, given their well-recognized presence in the auto part industry, is certainly in a position to assist in promoting awareness of this important safety recall.

Auto-component recalls serve as the perfect example as to why it is critical for accident victims to have collisions evaluated by a legal professional that has the experience and know-how to identify all potential causative factors. Our Chicago Automobile Collision Attorneys have several decades of practice experience and remain dedicating to obtaining the maximum compensation deserved on behalf of our clients. Contact Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. online, or by calling 773-516-4100.