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Vehicle Roof Caving

Vehicle Roof Caving Injury Lawsuits

Vehicle Roof Caving | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Injury | Collapsing Roofs, Failed To Meet Standards

According to federal statistics, approximately 7,000 people each year are killed or severely injured in vehicle accidents in which the roof crushes or caves in. Detroit’s top automakers, armed with political muscle and reams of research, have fought costly upgrades to a 33-year-old roof-strength standard, even while their own European operations build and test stronger roofs. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. essentially drafted the regulation as it stands.

In 1971, the automakers led an industry wide effort to convince federal officials to adopt a minimum standard for roof strength, but only after their vehicle fleets failed the government’s first proposed test, according to internal corporate documents examined by The Detroit News. “It’s been known for quite some time that this is a standard that needs updating,” NHTSA Chief Dr. Jeffrey Runge told The News.

Juries in Texas, California and Nebraska have repeatedly rejected Big Three-backed studies that deny a link between crushed roofs and injuries. Safety groups have stepped up their campaign for a new roof-strength standard with new verdicts that have come in, including a $225 million verdict against Ford in a roof crush case.

The NHTSA is looking hard at recent crash data to establish a direct relationship between collapsing roofs and catastrophic injuries. In filings with NHTSA, GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler contend there is no need for new standards. NHTSA publishes safety ratings based on frontal and side-impact crash tests, but consumers don’t know how their vehicle’s roof will react until it literally occurs.

“Some manufacturers take weight out to reduce their strength-to-weight ratios down closer to the minimum,” said Steve Forrest, senior engineer of the firm Safety Analysis and Forensic Engineering, which advises plaintiffs in lawsuits against automakers. European manufacturers, including GM’s Saab and Opel units, employ high-strength steel to improve the strength of roofs.

Legal Help For Victims Affected By Vehicle Roof Caving

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of your vehicle's roof caving in, please fill out the form at the right for a free lawsuit case evaluation by a qualified product liability attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


Vehicle Roof CavingRSS Feed

Explorer Roof Called Too Weak

Nov 20, 2005 | Detroit News
Many of Ford Motor Co.'s best-selling Explorer SUVs from the 1999 to 2001 model years likely do not meet a crucial safety requirement intended to protect passengers in rollover crashes, a safety engineering firm claimed in a petition filed with the federal government.Safety Analysis and Forensic Engineering, which performs research for plaintiffs suing automakers, says internal Ford documents show that a substantial number of 1999 to 2001 Explorers likely do not comply with the federal vehicle...

Jury Awards $30.4M In Lawsuit Against Ford

Oct 3, 2005 | AP
A Texas jury awarded the family of a Brownsville teenager $30.4 million in damages and medical expenses Monday, finding that Ford Motor Co. was primarily at fault in the death of a 16-year-old who was killed in a March 2004 accident.The family had sued the automaker, saying the roof of their truck failed to protect Jennifer Garcia in the crash that caused the Ford truck to roll over. The accident occurred as Garcia was traveling with her parents to Corpus Christi in a 1993 Ford F-150 and their...

NHTSA Releases New Proposed Auto Roof Strength Standards

Aug 21, 2005 |
Earlier this week we reported that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was about to propose stricter roof crush standards. Those proposed new requirements have now been released.If instituted, the new requirements would affect all vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds, overriding the current cut off at 6,000 pounds. These new regulations regarding vehicle roof strength are only one measure of  NHTSA’s plan to reduce the nearly 10,000 deaths and hundreds of injuries...

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) To Toughen Rules for Auto Roofs

Aug 19, 2005 |
By the end of the month, the NHTSA will probably institute a new set of regulations requiring stronger roofs for cars, trucks, and especially larger SUVs.The need for such changes has been a matter of disagreement between the auto industry and safety groups. Automakers have argued that strengthening roofs does not improve safety on the top-heavy SUVs that tend to rollover more frequently, but whose luxury price tags translate into big profits.Safety advocates have taken the position that roof...

Do Ford Roofs Make The Grade?

Apr 12, 2005 |
The federal government is getting ready to tighten safety standards for the roofs on motor vehicles. But now there are questions about whether some of the most popular SUVs on the road today even meet the current standards, reports CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.Time and time again, Ford has faced claims that the Explorer's roof doesn't hold up in a rollover. CBS News has learned of more than 70 lawsuits Ford has settled or lost in recent years.One of them was Claire Duncan's. She was...

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