Large Truck Recalls Signal Safety Issues, Truck Accident Risk
A number of recent recalls involving heavy trucks – and truck parts – could result in a number of truck accident lawsuits against vehicle manufacturers, in addition to commercial truck carriers.
There are three basic grounds on which to file a truck accident product liability lawsuit, including:
- Defective design. (There was a defect in a product even before it was manufactured, some aspect of the design that made it unsafe.)
- Defective manufacturing. (There was a mistake on the assembly line.)
- Marketing defects. (There were insufficient instructions, improper labeling, inadequate safety warning.)
Such claims can be brought against anyone in the chain of distribution. We might also consider whether any mechanics or other companies responsible for maintenance might be liable as well.
One of the most recent truck recalls involves 25,000 Isuzu commercial trucks (including vehicles branded as Chevrolet) because there is an issue with the accelerator pedal getting stuck under a steel stopper bolt. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which warned that if the accelerator pedal gets caught under the ridge of that stopper bolt, the throttle would stay open which would increase the potential for a truck accident.
This is especially hazardous, Isuzu indicated, if the vehicle is traveling at high speeds. That means this defect could potentially cause a truck accident, serious injuries or a fatality. That hasn’t happened so far, according to the NHTSA. The trucks are reportedly equipped with a brake override system which can allow the driver to attempt to push on the brake pedal, which can help slow and even stop the truck.
Models included in this recall include the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Isuzu NPR and NPR HD, as well as the 2016 Chevrolet Low Cab Forward medium duty commercial trucks.
But this isn’t the only recall that should cause concern in the commercial trucking industry.
An estimated 2,400 Autocar Xpeditor severe duty trucks made between March 2015 and September 2016. According to Trucks.com, the problem is the castle nuts on the steering linkage on many of these trucks weren’t properly tightened. This is a manufacturing defect that could result in the cotter pin breaking off. This would cause parts of the assembly to separate, which means the truck driver might lose control because he or she would be unable to steer. Obviously, this presents a serious risk of a truck accident. Thankfully, as of this writing, there have been no injuries or crashes reported.
Another recall involves more than 250 Freightliner trucks made by Daimler Trucks North America. Those medium-duty trucks reportedly had bolts that were prone to loosening and detaching, which reduces the brake ability and could lead to a crash.
A recent Reuters report indicated nearly 1 in every 5 vehicles (not just commercial trucks) in use on the roads is in need of repair. The news outlet reports there are 47 million cars in the U.S. with open recalls. That is of 259 million cars on the road.
Those states with the highest rates of unfixed vehicles? Texas comes in at No. 1. It’s followed by Mississippi, Alaska, Utah and West Virginia.
Although the recall response rate among the general public is very low, commercial carriers are required by federal law to have recalled vehicles repaired. Federal and state inspectors may be instructed to put such vehicles out-of-service if there is a substantial threat to public safety.
Contact our experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyers at (210) 308-8811.
Potential Stuck Gas Pedal Forces Recall of 25,000 Isuzu, Chevrolet Trucks, Nov. 8, 2016, by Carina Ockedahl, Trucks.com
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Fatal Truck Accident Trial for Distracted Trucker Slated for 2017, Oct. 23, 2016, San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer Blog