Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

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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

How Do I Know If a Product is Defective?

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How Do I Know If a Product is Defective?

If a product is involved in the process of an injury or a death, there needs to be an investigation to determine if that product was defective.

When people come to us with their case, the first thing we do is we listen. What happened? What do we know? And where can we go from here? After we listen we outline very specific steps that we can take to begin investigating their case. These are steps we’ve taken in many cases before to figure out whether the product that we know is involved caused the injury or caused the death.

The steps we outline to determine if a product is defective involves hiring experts. It involves an investigation. It involves a deep dive into the medical history and the current medical status of the injured person or the deceased. We look at the product and we ask:

  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their competitors doing?
  • Could this have been prevented? Should it have been prevented?
  • Is there any safety device or warning that was missing?
  • Is there any type of way that the product could have been designed differently that would have completely eliminated this issue altogether?

When those answers align, we know there is a case and we pursue the company.

Just because a product hasn’t been recalled, doesn’t mean it isn’t defective. If you’ve been injured by a product, contact us today so we may begin investigating your case.

How Do I Know If a Defective Tire Caused My Crash?

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How Do I Know If a Defective Tire Caused My Crash?

Over the past 26 years Lance Cooper has developed a particular expertise in tire defect cases. He handled his first tire defect case back in 1992 and has been passionate about this safety issue ever since. Defective tire cases are different because there is a lot that goes into the design and manufacture of a tire.

When a crash happens and there has been a tire blow out or tire tread separation, it is important that The Cooper Firm be involved early in the investigation. We need to enlist the expertise of engineers to not only inspect the damaged tire, but also inspect the car, the surrounding road scene, and everything that happened in that particular crash. From there, we can determine if a tire defect contributed to that crash. Oftentimes tire failure claims result in very bad crashes where people are catastrophically injured or perhaps have died. It’s important early on to involve The Cooper Firm for investigating potential tire defect claims.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash and you believe a defective tire may have been the cause, please contact us as soon as possible.

Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

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Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

Excerpt (Daily Report printed 2.8.17)

High-profile plaintiffs firm Beasley Allen has opened an Atlanta office, the first outside of its Alabama base.

Beasley Allen, founded in 1979, works on big cases all over the country, but its 75 lawyers have all been based in Montgomery until now. The firm tapped firm principal Chris Glover, who specializes in automotive product defect cases, to start the Atlanta office.

It has also joined forces with Marietta plaintiffs lawyer Lance Cooper for its foray into Georgia, after working with Cooper on litigation against General Motors over faulty car ignition switches. Cooper uncovered the faulty switches, which led to a massive recall of GM vehicles and national litigation.

“When we decided to come here, our very first stop was Lance’s office,” Glover said.

Cooper has become a principal at Beas­ley Allen, which is what the firm calls its partners, while also maintaining his own shop. The two firms will work on products liability cases together, both in Georgia and nationally.

Cooper said he started working with Beasley Allen on the GM ignition switch cases because of its greater resources and national capabilities. The Cooper Firm has just two lawyers, Cooper and Drew Ashby, which Cooper said is “how I want it.” While Cooper sticks to single-plaintiff suits, Beas­ley Allen also takes on class actions and multi-district litigations.

“Beasley Allen had the national outreach to work with lawyers and consumers around the country on these types of cases,” Cooper said.

The national GM litigation arose from Cooper’s representation of Ken and Beth Melton. They sued General Motors over a faulty ignition switch that they believed caused their daughter’s Chevrolet Cobalt to crash, killing her. The suit sparked 30 million car recalls and hundreds more suits around the country, including by Beasley Allen.

The Meltons settled with GM in 2013 for $5 million—a confidential figure later disclosed by GM—but Cooper re-opened the case for them the next year, alleging GM had fraudulently concealed that one of its engineers knew about the defect. Cooper partnered with Beasley Allen on the ensuing litigation and said that he handled more than 100 individual suits against GM.

GM ended up paying a $900 million penalty to resolve criminal charges for concealing the defective switch.

Cooper next joined forces with Beasley Allen on suits against Terex Corp. over alleged defects in a truck boom it manufactures. Cooper’s client Jeffrey Gaddy, a tree-trimmer, sued Terex in 2014 after the boom arm supporting the bucket he was standing in allegedly failed, sending the bucket crashing to the ground. The fall severed his spinal cord, leaving him paraplegic.

That suit, Gaddy v. Terex, is in discovery in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Meanwhile, Terex recalled some models of its aerial boom for inspection and replacement of any that are defective. Cooper said Beasley Allen has a pending class action for consumers who own booms that Terex has not agreed to fix.

“It’s been a good partnership. We’ve been able to help our clients and do greater public good getting companies to recall their products,” Cooper said.

Read the full story at dailyreport.com.

Print PDF of Daily Report article here.

What If I Am Hurt By A Recalled Product?

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What If I Am Hurt By A Recalled Product?

If a person has been hurt by a recalled product, the only question that we need to really answer at that point, because we know the product is defective,  is whether that specific defect caused their injury.

When people come to us who have been, or may have been, injured by a product , they often know very little about what happened, so we begin the process of investigation for them. That analysis can take quite a bit of effort and quite a bit of time. It requires hiring experts. It requires substantial analysis. It requires talking to their medical providers, whether it be doctors, nurses, even sometimes home care givers. And that whole picture is going to help us determine whether that recall and that particular defect caused their injury.

If our investigations shows that defect and that recall caused their injury, then we pursue the company.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a recalled product, please contact us today.

How Do I Report An Unsafe Product?

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How do I report an unsafe product?

Reporting an unsafe product is very important. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission compiles these reports and uses them when investigating whether a product should be recalled. In those instances, your experience is often not uncommon and might eventually be traced back to a manufacturer’s negligence. Without detailed accounts from a consumer that has been injured, it is very difficult to prove an accident happened as a result of the product and not the consumer.

It starts with an injury. Maybe you were preparing dinner in your kitchen oven and it caught on fire and burned your hands. Or perhaps you set up a safety gate at the top of the stairs only to hear your child tumbling down the stairs after the gate failed. You might have thought you put your car in ‘park’ only to find it rolling down the driveway after you exited and it crashed into another vehicle. All these are accidents that, at first, might have seemed like it was your fault. After investigating the reports filed by the CPSC, the manufacturers were found at fault and a recall for the unsafe product was initiated. These recalls would not have happened without the reports from the injured.

So, how do I report an unsafe product? It’s simple. Visit www.saferproducts.gov. From there follow the prompts to “Report an Unsafe Product”. It will ask for as much detail as possible. And remember, the injury does not need to be severe or catastrophic to be reported.

If you believe an accident occurred that wasn’t your fault, file a report. Afterwards, contact us to see how we can help.

CarMax Ordered to Disclose Open Recalls on Vehicles

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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

 

Lawsuit Filed for Rolling Jeep Cherokee

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Lawsuit Filed for Rolling Jeep Cherokee

The Cooper Firm recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of an individual who sustained injuries from a rolling 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the case, our client thought they had placed the gear shift in park before exiting the vehicle. This confusion with the gear shift is the subject a recent recall affecting nearly 1 million vehicles.

In April 2016, Fiat Chrysler issued a voluntary recall on the 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As many as 300 consumers complained to NHTSA about the Jeep’s redesigned gear shifter. In an effort to design a sleek, more tech-savvy interior, the change has simply confused drivers instead of impressing them. Drivers place their vehicle in the ‘parked’ position and exit, only to have it continue to roll and crash into objects or people. Some drivers are able to get right back in their car and hit the brake, some are not so lucky.

Anton Yelchin, a young Hollywood actor, exited his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the top of the driveway and walked down to towards his guard gate and brick mailbox. He was found dead on the scene trapped between his car and the gate at the bottom of his driveway. 7 days later, his family received the recall notice.

In addition to the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler also recalled the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans for model years 2012-2014. Fiat Chrysler replaced the confusing gear shifts in more recent model years. Visit www.nhtsa.gov for more information.

If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger sedan in this recall, please contact us today.

NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

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NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration) has proposed a rule that would require automakers to include digital notifications of recall announcements. This would include sending notifications by mobile texts, phone calls and emails.

To date, recall notices or safety announcements are sent via mail. What was once an effective means of communication, the general public now rarely receives any useful mail except for perhaps wedding invitations, holiday cards, and the most exciting of them all, calls for jury duty. In an age where the majority of our communications happens at our fingertips, the faster vehicle owners can be notified of a safety issue the better.

This is exactly what the NHTSA is proposing.

It was reported that Anton Yelchin, the young actor that was crushed to death by his rolling Jeep Cherokee thought to be in the parked position, received his own recall notice in the mail  7 days after his death. Additional ways to notify vehicle owners of recalls might have allowed this message to reach him sooner. Although mailing would still be a requirement, automakers would be required to select an additional digital option to increase the likelihood of receipt by owner.

J.D. Power & Associates announced in July that nearly 45 million vehicles recalled from 2013-2015 remain unfixed. From exploding airbags, to faulty door latches and ignition switches, accidents occur every day from safety issues that have gone unnoticed or unaddressed. Hopefully, this initiative would help reduce that number. Recalled vehicles pose not just a safety threat to their drivers, but to others on the road as well.

A final ruling will be made on the NHTSA’s proposal following a 60 day comment allowance scheduled to end 10/31/2016.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a safety defect on a vehicle, please contact us for a complimentary case consultation.

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

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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.

 


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