U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer issued a June 15 order giving the plaintiffs’ steering committee, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission until June 28 at noon – a full week longer than the original deadline – to file for preliminary approval of a proposed emissions fraud case settlement agreement with Volkswagen. [Read more…]
The largest recall in U.S. auto safety history has officially expanded to include numerous cars, SUVs, and vans from Mercedes-Benz as part of the massive action concerning explosive, shrapnel-firing Takata airbags. Mercedes has recalled over 830,000 vehicles in the United States. Affected models include 2005–2014 Mercedes C-class, E-class, GL-class, M-class, and SLK; the 2006–2012 R-class; and the 2011–2014 SLS AMG. [Read more…]
Automotive software glitches and recalls based on software problems are on the rise in recent years, according to a study published this week by J.D. Power. [Read more…]
Honda owners are becoming increasingly dismayed to see their vehicle windows malfunctioning throughout California and the U.S. Despite Honda denying any window problem exists, owners of Honda Civic, Pilot, Element, Accord, Odyssey, and certain Acura vehicles describe the side windows suddenly dropping open seemingly at random – sometimes when the car is being driven, sometimes when the car has been standing for hours in a parking lot – but in all cases totally unrelated to any driver or passenger action. [Read more…]
Japan-based Takata Corporation is set to recall an additional 35 million airbag inflators as a result of significant safety risks which have been linked to multiple deaths and injuries. Defective exploding Takata airbags have been revealed as the cause of ten U.S. driver and passenger deaths, as well as an additional death in Malaysia and serious injuries to over 100 other individuals. The airbag defect and its deadly consequences have led to the largest vehicle recall in U.S. history. [Read more…]
Fiat Chrysler has announced that it is recalling over one million cars and SUVs worldwide out of concerns the gear selector makes it too easy for drivers to miss putting the vehicles in “Park” before exiting. Vehicles not left in Park can roll away and cause serious injuries. [Read more…]
Known Takata Air Bag Death Toll Rises to 11
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, another death has been traced to a defective Takata air bag. The victim this time was a 17-year-old Texas girl whose car was in a crash outside of Houston. Defective exploding Takata air bags have been revealed as the cause behind ten U.S. driver and passenger deaths as well as an additional death in Malaysia and serious injuries to over 100 other individuals. The defect and its deadly consequences led to the largest vehicle recall in U.S. history. [Read more…]
As reported by Law360 (subscription), General Motors had the opportunity to fix its defective ignition switches in 2002 — for about $2,000. That’s not a misprint; for about two thousand dollars, the company could have obtained a “stronger ignition switch than the one that ended up costing lives, jobs and a corporate reputation.” But GM decided against it. [Read more…]
As reported by Law360, a former automotive industry engineer testified in a Tuesday bellwether trial that General Motors engineers were forbidden by company policy from utilizing certain terms like “problem” or “bad” (and even terms like “rolling sarcophagus,” which even needing a policy against speaks volumes about issues with the switches themselves) when describing the GM ignition switches. This consequently prevented these engineers from warning officials about the failing ignition switches and product defect.
Quoting a new report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the New York Times notes that newly-released internal Takata employee documents show company insiders discussing problems with Takata air bags years prior to the first deaths and injuries tied to the airbag defects. A 2006 Takata employee email refers to a set of data and manufacturing problems as “yet another mess” and suggests that Takata manufacturing facilities “should have been screaming bloody murder a long time ago.”
As the first GM ignition defect bellwether trial opens early next week, Law360 provides a case overview and analysis of the challenges facing GM. The cases arise in the wake of a now-notorious GM ignition switch defect that can cause car keys to slip from the run to accessory position, causing the vehicle to stall and shutting down its power controls and air bags. The defect affects over 12 million recalled GM vehicles, including multiple Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn models. (You can view a detailed list on our GM Ignition Injury and Recall case page). [Read more…]
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan stated that the arguments General Motors Co. presented for dismissal of the automaker’s faulty ignition switch trial “fail as a matter of law.” As a result of Furman’s refusal to dismiss plaintiffs’ allegations, the first case against GM will proceed to trial, set to begin January 11. [Read more…]
Nearly 34 million vehicles worldwide with defective Takata airbags have been recalled. The U.S. portion alone represents the largest automotive recall in our country’s history. The recalled Takata airbags contain a propellant that can cause the airbag to explode upon impact in an accident, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers. [Read more…]
In an article examining the landscape of 2016 automotive product liability defect cases,Law360 spoke with Lieff Cabraser partner Elizabeth Cabraser about the General Motors deadly ignition switch defect cases. The defect, which can cause vehicles to lose power and thus prevent airbags from deploying, has allegedly caused hundreds of deaths and injuries and has affected millions of GM autos. [Read more…]
Japan-based Takata Corporation faces a penalty of up to $200 million due to the company’s faulty and defective airbags, which can explode and send metal shrapnel towards drivers and passengers upon impact after a crash. This would be the largest penalty ever imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). [Read more…]
“Truth in Engineering” is Audi’s official slogan. Sadly, the Audi A3 and multiple Volkswagen cars with diesel engines were allegedly engineered to deceive. This is one of the allegations in separate class action complaints filed yesterday and Tuesday by Audi and VW owners represented by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel in federal courts in New Jersey and California.
Attorneys Steve Berman, Bob Hilliard and Elizabeth Cabraser, co-lead counsel in the high-profile, class-action lawsuit against General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) today responded to the $900 million fines levied against the automaker and GM’s admission to concealing a defect that it was required by law to report under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
Attorney Fabrice Vincent of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP announced that a federal appeals court today reversed an order that had dismissed wrongful death claims stemming from an alleged transmission defect in many Chrysler vehicles.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate approved and sent to the House of Representatives the Thune-Nelson Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act. The bill offers individuals a substantial monetary incentive for whistleblowers in the automotive industry to report safety problems and vehicle defects that could lead to serious injuries or death. Whistleblowers could receive up to 30 percent of any monetary penalty over $1 million imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation or U.S. Department of Justice for misconduct.
In response to reports that the fund created by GM to provide compensation to the families of people who died and persons seriously injured in accidents linked to GM ignition switch defect has approved its 100th settlement offer for a death claim, Elizabeth J. Cabraser of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Co-Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel in the GM ignition switch litigation in federal court issued the following statement today: