Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler – Chrysler Transmission Defect Lawsuits

Result: $54 million verdict in defective vehicle case
Year: 2009

Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler

Chrysler Transmission Defect Lawsuits

There have been hundreds of accidents where people suffered debilitating physical injuries when the Chrysler vehicle suddenly moved into reverse. It is likely that at least 13 people have died as a result of the defect. Chrysler has refused to accept legal responsibility for these injuries. Instead, it regularly blames the driver for the accident and denies its vehicle was defective.

Attorney Robert Nelson Discusses Park-to-Reverse Accident Dangers

In 2007 in California, Lieff Cabraser attorneys obtained a $54 million verdict against Chrysler in the Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler wrongful death case. The judgment included a $50 million award of punitive damages. The jury found that the evidence showed the vehicle at issue, a 1991 Dodge Dakota, had a defective transmission and that Chrysler acted with malice and with a conscious disregard for the health and safety of others.

On September 24, 2009, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court overseeing the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings approved the payment of $24 million for the wrongful death of longshoreman Richard Mraz. The settlement is believed to be one of the largest ever of an individual wrongful death action involving an auto manufacturer. The settlement occurred while the case was on appeal from a verdict finding Chrysler’s disregard of consumer safety led to the death of a Southern California father of three children.

“We’re gratified that the Bankruptcy Court has approved the settlement, and the action has been resolved,” stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Robert J. Nelson, who served as lead trial and appellate counsel. “We hope that the new Chrysler Corporation will never put short-term profits ahead of the safety of its customers.”

Dakota, Durango, Ram, Neon, Grand Caravan and Jeep Grand Cherokee Park to Reverse Defects

While we are interested in learning of park to reverse and transmission issues in vehicles of any make, model or year, whether or not the vehicle was manufactured by Chrysler. We have profiled and have extensive experience litigating park-to-reverse cases involving the following DaimlerChrysler vehicles:

  • Dodge Dakota
  • Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Ram
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Dodge Neon
  • Dodge Grand Caravan

In addition, in early 2015 Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of over 26,000 additional vehicles for similar transmission defects.


The park to reverse or false park defect is sometimes described in different terms such as unintentional rearward movement, unintended rearward movement, unintentional reverse, unintended reverse, unintentional acceleration, unintended acceleration, powered reverse, failure to hold in park, slipped gear, inadvertent movement, inadvertent rearward movement, jumped into reverse, kicked into reverse, slipped into reverse, change gear, changed gear, back over, backed over, roll backwards, lurched backwards, roll back, rolled back, rearward runaway, accidental shift, shift alone, shift into reverse, shift out of park, sudden shift, switch gears and went into reverse.

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