Based out of Detroit, Michigan, Ford Motor Company manufacturers various model cars, sports utility vehicles, and trucks, all at economy-based prices. Ford Motor Company has been a trusted vehicle manufacturer in the United States since the early 1900’s. But over the course of its history, they were unfortunate enough to release vehicles that were later recalled due to manufacturer defects; defects that were both dangerous and deadly to millions of people. Continue reading for a brief look at three of the largest automobile recalls in the history of the Ford Motor Company.
The Ford Pinto
The Ford Pinto was release in September of 1971, but was quickly recalled once it was decided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) that the fuel tank was defective. The fuel tank was substandard, making it highly vulnerable to ruptures and damage. This meant that rear-end collisions easily caused the tank to rupture, and inevitably lead to a deadly explosion. It was rumored that Ford Motor Company knew about the defect, but chose to release it since it was cheaper to fight personal injury claims rather than make changes to the fuel system design.
As a result, two famous lawsuits took place: 1) Grimshaw vs Ford Motor Company, and 2) Indiana vs Ford. The Grimshaw case resulted in plaintiffs being awarded more than 6 million dollars in damages, turning out to be the largest product liability and negligence award at the time. The Indiana vs. Ford lawsuit was the first time a major corporation was indicted on criminal charges for a defective product, and charged with reckless homicide.
Failure to Park
Just a few short years in 1980, after the Pinto incident, Ford recalled over 20 million vehicles due to a gear shift defect. This made it the largest automobile recall of its time where the automaker was entirely liable. It cost the Ford Motor Company more than a billion dollars in losses. The defect was caused by a faulty safety catch that would suddenly slip and cause the car to enter into reverse without notice. According to Investopedia, this defect was responsible for thousands of grievances, accidents, and injuries, and even 98 deaths. But rather than repairing the defect, Ford simple issued drivers a sticker to place on their dashboards warning them to make sure their vehicle is all the way in the parked gear. This sticker turned out to be an notorious emblem in the 80’s.
In 1999, Ford Motor Company was at it again, recalling more than 17 million Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. This time, it was for faulty cruise control technology made by Texas Instruments. While in cruise control, a defect would cause the system to deactivate, which would then result in switches overheating and catching fire, even after the vehicle was turned off. More than 15,000 fires were reported, and the recalls continued for a number of years, up to 2004. As a result, the Ford Motor Company faced a series of personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits.
Product Defects Lawsuits
Product defects can cause injuries and even fatalities. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries as a result of using a product with a manufacturer defect, it is vital to contact a product liability injury lawyer right away. They can protect your rights and fight to recover the rightful remuneration you deserve.