Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

0 Comments
ford explorer exhaust leak

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

The Safety Institute released the Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List this month and Jeep Grand Cherokee again took the top 2 spots. Plagued with power train issues, 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees have held the #1 and #2 positions since November 2016. The report monitors NHTSA investigations and recalls to share the vehicles with the most concerning safety issues at press time.

The powertrain problem with the Jeep Grand Cherokees correlates to the 2016 Fiat Chrysler recall of vehicles equipped with a mono-stable gear selector. This gear shift created great confusion with drivers who exited their vehicles thinking they were in the PARK position, only to have the vehicle roll away, colliding with objects and people. At first Fiat Chrysler attempted to better educate the drivers on the new gear shift when they first were investigated in 2015. After nearly 300 reported incidents of rollaway, and the high profile death of actor Anton Yelchin who was struck and killed by his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler initiated a recall of over 800,000 vehicles equipped with this specific gear shifter which includes the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 (#3 on Watch List) and 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers.

GM’s Chevy Cobalt is a regular on this list for electrical problems stemming from faulty ignition switches discovered by the investigative work of Lance Cooper and The Cooper Firm. The 2009 Toyota Camry also remains on this quarter’s list for its unintended acceleration/speed control issues.

To view the complete list for this year and previous years, visit The Safety Institute’s website.

If you, or someone you know, have been injured by a vehicle with a reported safety defect, please contact us today.

Source: The Safety Institute Press Release

CarMax Ordered to Disclose Open Recalls on Vehicles

0 Comments
CarMax UsedCar

CarMax Ordered to Disclose Open Recalls on Vehicles

CarMax recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission in response to charges they were advertising their cars as safe but not disclosing open recalls. Along with 2 other large auto dealerships, Carmax must now fully inform customers of any open/unrepaired recalls before finalizing the sale of a vehicle.

This lawsuit came after a 2014 petition was filed with the FTC by the Center for Auto Safety, Consumers Union and nine other organizations. Under the current recall system, Carmax and other used car dealers are not allowed to make actual repairs. Instead, they market their vehicles as ‘safe’ after passing a 125+ point inspection. Any mention of recalls is shown in the fine print of TV commercials stating ‘some Carmax vehicles are subject to open safety recalls.” Investigators said this wasn’t enough.

In 2016, General Motors settled a similar suit with the Federal Trade Commission. They heavily marketed their used-cars as “certified” having passed a rigorous “172 point inspection”. However, active recalls went unrepaired including serious safety defects like faulty ignition switches.

Based on the settlement, CarMax is not allowed to advertise a vehicle as safe unless the company clearly discloses any active recall associated with the vehicle. In addition, they must contact customers who purchased a car after July 1, 2013 and notify them that their vehicle may have been purchased with an open recall.

To see if your vehicle has any active recall, visit www.nhtsa.gov.

If you or someone you know have been seriously injured in accident, please contact us today.

Source: www.carcomplaints.com

 

Chevy Claims 5 of Top 10 spots on Vehicle Safety Watch List

0 Comments

 

Chevy Claims 5 of Top 10 spots on Vehicle Safety Watch List

The Safety InstituteOnce again, GM, and Chevy specifically, dominates the Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List as reported by The Safety Institute.

Last quarter, the Chevy Cobalt claimed the 1st and 2nd spot on the Watch List for manufactured years 2006 and 2010 respectively. This quarter those dropped to 4 and 6.

Claiming the #1 spot for 2nd quarter of 2016 is the 2008 Buick Enclave. GM reported a sufficient number of claims as a result of the power lift gate suddenly dropping down and striking the owner’s heads increasing their risk of injury or death.

Both the 2011 Chevrolet HHR and the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu moved up the list as more injury and death claims are reported as a result of the faulty ignition switch. The faulty ignition switch was part of a major GM recall in 2014 and included nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide.

The 2009 Toyota Camry is a new addition to the watch list  at #5. Unintended acceleration reports continue to file in at the NHTSA.

To check and see if there is a recall on your vehicle, visit the NHTSA website.

If you or someone you know have been injured as result of a vehicle defect or recall, please Contact Us today for a complimentary case consultation.

 

Chevy Facing Yet Another Round of Recalls

0 Comments

Chevy is facing another round of recalls as GM announces a 289k Chevy Impala recall for faulty airbag sensor system.

The passenger sensory system is able to detect if a person is seated in the passenger seat and activate the airbag release should an accident occur. The 2009-2010 Chevy Impala models are in question as GM said the sensory system is disabled if the seat frame makes contact with the wires of the unit that contacts the sensors. Vehicle owners will be notified and dealers are committed to fixing the damaged wires for free.

This latest announcement comes as no surprise. Clearly there was a shift in focus during the first decade of the millennium with GM and the safety of consumers was not the priority. In 2003, GM recalled 1.8 million vehicles for faulty windshield wipers. In 2004, GM recalled 3.7 million vehicles for tailgates that broke when people stood on them. It wasn’t until February 2014 when GM began rolling out recalls for faulty ignition switches installed in cars from 1997-2011 that a real pattern of negligence emerged. First it was 1.37 million for the ignition switch recall, then a new ignition switch flaw expanded the recall to 2.6 million. 3 months later, a recall for faulty brake light wiring and front seat belts in pre-2010 models brought the world-wide total to 13.6 million. By June of 2014, GM had recalled nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide for vehicles manufactured a decade before the announcement. This pattern was noticed by the media, the federal government, safety regulators, and most noticeably, attorneys on behalf of clients that were injured as a result of GM’s negligence in their safety and engineering practices.

The Cooper Firm was proud to represent one of the first families willing to go the distance and prove GM was at fault for the wrongful death of their daughter, Brooke Melton. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in an accident as a result of the negligence by an auto manufacturer, we would be proud to represent you as well.

Contact us today for a complimentary case consultation

Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

0 Comments
GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

New Ruling States Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

Last week the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2009 bankruptcy filing by GM will not protect the company from claims related to the defective ignition switches installed in their vehicles from the years 1997-2011.

In 2014, GM announced a voluntary recall of nearly 3 million vehicles due to an ignition switch that could slip into an accessory position, effectively turning the car off unbeknownst to the driver. A recall that came about as a result of the relentless pursuit of justice by Ken & Beth Melton, the parents of Brooke Melton who died from injuries sustained in auto accident as a result of a faulty ignition switch in her Chevy Cobalt. The Cooper Firm had the privilege of representing the Melton family on this case. It’s important to know the outcome of the case proved that GM knew about the faulty ignition switch for years and chose not to fix or notify vehicles owners of the issue. GM ultimately expanded the recall to nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide.

Announcing bankruptcy in 2009 led to the creation of what was dubbed ‘New GM’. According to the ruling, ‘New GM’ could not be held responsible for any misconduct by ‘Old GM’ (i.e. knowingly installing faulty ignition switches in new vehicles) and therefore were immune to any lawsuits or claims from accidents that happened prior to 2009. Last week’s appeal changed all of that. The 2nd Circuit ruled that the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction to free GM of those claims. The decision to file for bankruptcy does not change the fact that GM was aware of the issue and chose to hide it, denying people of their right to due process since they were not notified of the safety issue prior to the filing.

This is a big win for consumers who were affected by this cover-up. We expect to see an unprecedented amount of cases come forward from accidents that occurred prior to 2009 as a result of the faulty ignition switch and the actions of GM.

Check to see if your vehicle has an active recall here: NHTSA.gov

If you or someone you know has been injured as result of a possible GM ignition switch failure, please Contact Us today.

Source: Reuters.com

Chevy Dominates Safety Watch List of Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects

0 Comments
Ignition Switch Attorney - Lance Cooper

Ongoing Electrical Problems Cause Chevy to Dominate Quarterly Watch List of Potential Vehicle Defects

The Safety Institute recently announced its quarterly ‘Vehicle Safety Watch List of the Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects’ and Chevy vehicles claimed 8 of the 15 spots. Among those listed, the Chevy Cobalt is named 5 separate times for its 2006-2010 model years.

It comes as no surprise the most common vehicle on the Safety Institute’s Watch List was the subject of a product defect case handled by Lance Cooper here at The Cooper Firm. In 2010, Paulding County resident Brooke Melton was driving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt when she skidded into another vehicle and subsequently died from injuries sustained in the crash. GM was found at fault for knowledge of defective ignition switches causing vehicles to slip into an accessory position thereby turning off the engine and rendering power steering, power brakes, and airbags inactive.

Despite a 2014 recall of nearly 29 million vehicles in North America, GM continues to report deaths from Chevy Cobalt model years 2006-2010 due to vehicle electrical problems.

In addition to the Cobalt, the 2006 and 2011 Chevy HHR models and 2006 Chevy Malibu claimed 3 more spots bringing the total number of Chevy vehicles on the Safety Watch List to 8 out of 15.

Another notable vehicle on The Safety Institute’s Watch List includes the 2006 Toyota Camry plagued with acceleration control problems. The 2006 Toyota Camry has held every position on the list since its inception in 2014 and has been the subject of extensive investigations by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle named on this list, a defective product could be at fault. Please contact our law office today for a free consultation.

To view the complete Vehicle Safety Watch List published by The Safety Institute, click here.

PRESS RELEASE: SafetyWatchList-PR-5.5.16

GM recalls 1.4 million vehicles due to two failed recalls for fire risk issues

0 Comments
Ignition Switch Attorney - Lance Cooper

GM recalls 1.4 million vehicles due to two failed recalls for fire risk issues

General Motors is recalling vehicles that can leak oil and catch fire for the third time in seven years.

The recall covers 1.4 million vehicles manufactured as far back as 1997 model years. The defect has caused more than 1,300 fires and has damaged several garages and homes. The fire risk is due to a valve cover gasket which can degrade allowing oil to seep out. With hard braking, oil can seep into the exhaust manifold and cause a fire. Once there is a flame, it can quickly spread to a plastic spark plug wire channel and engulf the rest of the engine in flames.

The recall repairs from the previous two recalls have not corrected the issue. During those two recalls, GM had urged owners to park outside until they could get the repairs made due to the fact that the fires usually occurred after the drivers turned off the engines. There has been no announcement from GM on if that same warning applies to this recall. Beyond the previous recall, GM will be adding 500,000 vehicles that were not repaired previously under the earlier recalls. GM is aware of 19 minor injuries as a result of the defect.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration originally opened an investigation of the issue in 2007, in which the agency discovered that most of the incidents occurred within five to fifteen minutes after the engines were shut off. That investigation led to 200,000 vehicles being recalled in 2008 and then 1.5 million more vehicles recalled in 2009. The remedy involved replacing the spark plug wire channels, but there was no mention of repairs to the oil leaks.

The vehicles counted in this recall all have 3.8-liter V6 engines and include: the 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal; the 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala; the 1998 and 1999 Chevrolet Lumina and Oldsmobile Intrigue; and the 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

A remedy for this recall has not been decided, but GM has stated that it will be using state registration databases to track down owners and notify them by mail.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective product, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

GM tells owners not to use windshield wipers

0 Comments
GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

GM tells owners not to use windshield wipers

General Motors is telling some of its SUV owners not to use their windshield wipers due to an electrical short that could cause the wiper motor to catch fire.

If it’s raining, you are out of luck until you can get your vehicle fixed. GM is recalling 32,000 2016 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia SUVs due to the defect with the wiper motor. GM has reported that only 6,400 vehicles were sold and the rest are still being held at the dealerships until they are repaired.

GM has added a bonus of picking up the vehicles for service if the weather prevents the owner from taking it into the dealership. GM will also arrange rental vehicles for owners to use if the parts are not available. Dealers will replace the faulty wiper motor covers that allow some electrical terminals to come in contact with each other for free of charge. The parts will be used for customer vehicles before the dealers will replace the vehicles that have not been sold yet.

The defect was discovered in one of GM’s plants in Michigan when a wiper motor overheated. The plant manager immediately reported the issue to GM and an investigation was opened. GM said there were no injuries and no reports of incidents outside the plant.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective vehicle or product, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Silence Is Golden, Except When It’s Criminal

1 Comment
Settlement - The Cooper Firm

Silence Is Golden, Except When It’s Criminal

Before even the early 1990s, Georgia lawyers pressed for Sunshine Law to prevent corporations from using settlement orders or confidentiality orders to hide defects and public hazards. Those were the so-called Sunshine In Litigation Acts. Other states passed such laws. Even Texas, not noted for its progressive legal posture, passed one. Georgia declined to do so, however.

In one kind of response, plaintiff’s lawyers in defect cases fought for “sharing protective orders,” to help prevent corporations from hiding safety defects. We met with some success, but it seems more recently that courts have worried more about the work they might have to do to enforce orders, and not enough about revelation and public safety.  As a result, we have seen more courts decline to do now what so many courts did before, namely, enter sharing protective orders.

Hopefully, recent action by NHTSA, traceable directly to the work done in our case, Melton v. GM, might help change things and brighten the landscape. More specifically, NHTSA has issued a call for consumers and experts to help it develop an Enforcement Guidance Bulletin to prevent settlement agreements, confidentiality orders, and or other confidentiality provisions from hiding defects. The Guidance would help prohibit car makers from using such orders to avoid transmitting defect and safety information to NHTSA. It would help judges and litigants insert language into agreements and orders that would allow information sharing with NHTSA, if not other litigants with similar defects. We think the latter orders are still a key fight, but are happy to see NHTSA acting—and finally using plaintiff’s lawyers as the natural safety allies that they are.

The Guidance will take submissions through October 19, 2015, from the public, counsel, and other interested parties here. Through the Guidance, NHTSA recommends that “litigants include a specific provision in any protective order or settlement agreement that provides for disclosure of relevant motor vehicle safety information to NHTSA, regardless of any other restrictions on the disclosure or dissemination of such information.”

Of help to counsel is the section in the Guidance that sets out many existing legal decisions and arguments for disclosure, and information sharing.   And for orders that do not conceal defects, as they once did for the IUD and breast implant defects. As one court noted,

An agreement is against public policy if it is injurious to the interests of the public, contravenes some established interest of society, violates some public statute, is against good morals, tends to interfere with the public welfare or safety, or is at war with the interests of society or is in conflict with the morals of the time.

E & B Mktg. Enterprises, Inc. v. Ryan, 568 NE.2d 339, 209 Ill. App. 3d 626 (1st Dist. 1991).

GM Recalls 121,000 Cadillac ATS for Fire Hazard

1 Comment
GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

GM Recalls 121,000 Cadillac ATS for Fire Hazard

General Motors is recalling 121,000 Cadillac ATS vehicles for a defect in the rear defogger system which could cause a fire.

The defect in the system could cause a fire inside the rear pillar of the driver’s side of the vehicle. If the coil antenna, which powers the rear defogger system, has been continuously operating, it could overheat and result in a fire.  The recall affects 97,000 2013-2016 ATS sedans in the United States and 24,000 in Canada, Mexico and outside North America. There have been four reported fires to GM, but the company says it is unaware of any injuries, fatalities or crashes. GM says that although they are recalling all of the vehicles, only about one percent of the vehicles are expected to have the condition.

As a remedy, GM dealers will update the Electronic Climate Control module software to remove the automatic rear defogger “on” function.

GM has recalled the new ATS models a total of four times for different issues. In July, GM recalled 63,000 2013-2016 Cadillac ATS because the roof panel may close automatically without the button being pressed, which did not comply with federal requirements.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective product or vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.


Contact Us

Contact Us