Many individuals may be impacted by automobile recalls from something seemingly simple to something seemingly serious. Automobile maker Chrysler recently recalled 350,000 vehicles because of faulty ignition switches. The faulty ignition switches may cause power to be cut to the engine and to switch into "accessory" mode which will cause a power loss to steer and airbags. According to Chrysler, in some 2008 vehicles ignition keys, after starting the vehicle, may not return to the "on" position. If this happens, the windshield defroster and wipers may lose power. Approximately 292,224 vehicles in the U.S. are impacted by the recall. The company reported that it is aware of one accident related to the recall. According to Chrysler, customers will be advised when they can bring their vehicles into the dealership for repairs.
The ignition problems reported by Chrysler are similar to those that have trouble General Motors Co. (GM) and led GM to recall 2.6 million vehicles. In affected GM vehicles, the ignition switch may move from the "on" position to the "accessory" position and cut power to airbags, steering, and brakes. GM noted that heavy key chains may cause the ignition switch to move. Like GM, Chrysler advised consumers with vehicles impacted by the recall to avoid key rings and use a single key. GM has been fined $35 million for a failure to timely report the problem which has been linked to 21 deaths; multiple investigations have been conducted and the U.S. Justice Department is also conducting an investigation.
Because automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for individuals under age 34, one way of removing some of the danger on the roadways is through the recall of cars with an automobile defect that is unsafe for consumers. Dangerous products, such as defective automobiles, can lead to significant harm in some cases. When that occurs, the area of the law referred to as product liability, through which defective product claims may be made, can help consumers recover damages for the harm.
When an auto defect has led to an accident that has caused injury or death, an affected consumer may be able to bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim for the damages suffered. The product liability process is designed to help consumers and ensure that they are protected from harm.