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Defective Door Latches


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Defective Door Latches Product Liability Injury Lawsuits

Defective Door Latches | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Product Liability: Injury | Ejected, Latch Failures

A Lowndes County, Alabama, jury assessed $150 million in punitive damages against the General Motors Corporation on Monday, June 3, 1996, for selling vehicles with dangerously defective door latches. Alex Hardy, 35, has been a paraplegic since his Chevrolet Blazer went out of control on U.S 80 in 1991. His lawsuit contended he was thrown out of the vehicle as a result of a faulty door latch.

Approximately 112 people have been killed or injured when the "type III" door latches on GM vehicles failed, resulting in occupants being ejected from the vehicles.

GM's own engineers reported in the 1980s that the performance of the type III door latch was a "problem," "substandard," and "unacceptable," and that the door latch even failed GM's own crash tests. A 1982 study by a GM engineer concluded that there would be 18,000 door openings each year in wrecks involving GM vehicles equipped with type III door latches.

GM considered and rejected a recall, and the documents indicate that it destroyed its entire inventory of type III door latches. GM deliberately chose not to recall and fix the defective door latches because company documents reveal that GM thought a recall would cost too much, about $916 million. GM routinely settled defective door latch cases until 1994.

Mitsubishi was also found guilty of concealing evidence about its knowledge of door latch failures in its vehicles. The trial court found Mitsubishi's concealment of evidence "deliberate and intentional" and labeled their conduct as a "fraudulent use of the judicial system. Additionally, it has been alleged that certain Ford vehicles are not compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

The allegation focuses on the vehicles having a defective door latch, which may open in the event of an accident, with the potential for catastrophic results. It is further alleged that Ford knew of this defect but has not initiated a recall. It is estimated that there are over 3,000,000 vehicles with this known problem.

Legal Help For Victims Affected By Defective Door Latches

If you or a loved one  has been injured by a defective door latch, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified product liability attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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Chinese Drywall Affecting 140 Homes, Builder Says

Sep 28, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
KB Home says that about 140 homes it built have issues with Chinese drywall.  The disclosure was made during a conference call conducted by KB Home last Friday to discuss earnings.Chinese drywall poured into the U.S. between 1999 and 2007 because of the high demand created by the housing boom. Imports accelerated when the rebuilding that followed Hurricane Charley in Florida in 2004, and Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in 2005, created a drywall shortage. According to The Wall...

Government Probes Touareg Door Handles

Aug 15, 2005 | AP
The government is investigating door handles on the Volkswagen Touareg after an owner complained that his daughter was injured when the sport utility vehicle's door swung open and caught her hand in the door frame.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday that it was examining the 2004-05 model years of the SUV after receiving the report that the exterior door handle does not allow the door to latch properly.The preliminary investigation involves more than 53,000...

Ford Sued Again Over Door Latches On Trucks, SUVs

Aug 17, 2004 | AP
Ford Motor Co. has been hit with another lawsuit claiming defective door latches on as many as 400,000 pickups and sport utility vehicles have caused the doors to open in side-impact crashes and rollover accidents, resulting in death or serious injury for occupants. The Canadian law firm of Will Barristers filed the suit Monday in Ontario Superior Court on behalf of defendant Maurice Poulin, who lives in northern Ontario. The firm is pursuing class-action status and says 300,000 to 400,000 Ford...

Ford In The Hot-Seat Over Handling Of Door Safety Issue

May 4, 2004 | www.lifestyle.co.uk
The Ford Motor Co. decided against a massive recall involving some of its most popular trucks despite internal questions about the quality of certain parts, it was reported.The number two US automaker overruled its own safety engineers' recommendation to recall up to 4.1 million pickups and sport utility vehicles that were found to have substandard door latches, reported the Detroit Free Press citing to internal company documents that have surfaced in recent court cases. A Ford safety...

Ford Dismissed Call To Fix Latch

May 2, 2004 | Detroit News
Ford Motor Co. overruled its own safety engineers’ recommendation to recall up to 4.1 million pickups and sport utility vehicles that were found to have substandard door latches, according to internal company documents that have surfaced in recent court cases. A Ford safety engineering team determined in March 2000 that door latches on certain 1997-2000 model light trucks including popular F-150, F-250, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models didn’t meet federal safety standards, the...

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