According to an online news article posted on jalopnik.com, there are millions of heavy-duty vehicles on U.S. roads that fail to meet the NHTSA’s safety standards for preventing rollover accidents. A recent wrongful death lawsuit that Ford lost involved accusations that 2009 NHTSA safety standards concerning rollover crashes have not been met. In 2009, the NHTSA mandated that motor vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds had roofs that could withstand three times the vehicle weight. However, the NHTSA did not mandate the same standard to heavier vehicles that weigh between 7,000 and 10,000 pounds. That lack of safety standard has become a deadly problem.
In 2010, the NHTSA stated that there were not enough heavy passenger vehicles manufactured to justify applying the same roof-crush standard. But motor vehicles have become much heavier, and the average vehicle in the U.S. is 12 years old or older, making the NHTSA’s safety standard outdated and dangerous.
According to Joseph White, a Reuters automotive correspondent, there are potentially thousands of vehicles on U.S. roadways that fail to meet the NHTSA safety standard. White also stated that the standard was unsafe, to begin with, since the standard permitted heavier vehicles to circumvent important safety requirements. For example, a vehicle that weighs 6,000 pounds must have a roof that is able to withstand 18,000 pounds in a rollover accident, but a 7000-pound vehicle only has to withstand 10,500 pounds, according to the existing NHTSA regulation.
Consumer Reports reported that most cars in 2010 that weighed more than 6,000 pounds were commercial vehicles. Consumer Reports believes that NHTSA apparently claimed these vehicles have more headroom, and therefore, the standard shouldn’t apply. The NHTSA also ignored important warnings from safety experts who warned the roof-crush standard should be applied universally. However, the NHTSA stated that the cost of strengthening heavier vehicles’ roofs outweighs the benefits.
In the case of the fatal 2014 Ford pickup rollover accident, those benefits would have saved lives. The attorneys representing the Plaintiffs’ presented 80 similar rollover accident cases involving heavy pickups that failed to protect occupants during rollover accidents. The attorneys reported that there are millions of these trucks in use, which might cause more injuries or deaths. Ford stated that it would appeal both the verdict and the award amount.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Did you or a loved one sustain harm due to a recalled motor vehicle? Parker Waichman LLP helps those who have suffered product injuries receive full monetary compensation. Trust your case with our product injury lawsuit lawyers. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation