Liability of Manufacturers in Defective Gas Tanks Lawsuits

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Gas tanks are supposedly safe container for flammable liquids but what happens when motor vehicle gas tanks turn out to be defective? A high potential for vehicle fire or explosions.

Over the years, several auto companies have been the subject of defective gas tanks lawsuits. Ford’s Pinto was particularly notorious for explosive gas tanks which were placed in the rear but General Motors also faced the same problems in its pick-up trucks whose fuel tanks were labeled a fire hazard.

Both manufacturers faced hundreds of consumer lawsuits from product liability, personal injury and even wrongful death. While the defective gas tanks lawsuit cost Ford around $125, GM on the other hand settled with the NHTSA for the amount of $51 million and offered disgruntled vehicle owners $1000 coupons toward the purchase of a new truck with a trade-in of the old one.

Liability Law

Under the product liability law, all manufacturers, distributors, or parties who make products available to the public shall be held liable for any injury or damage their products may cause.

Motor vehicles are particularly a common subject for product liability lawsuits as car manufacturers have often been found to intentionally cut corners on car safety. Safe product design and quality manufacturing has been sacrificed countless times by these companies and adding new safety features have been avoided to cut down on expenses.

Of all of the motor vehicle defects that can result from the above-mentioned factors, defective gas tanks are perhaps the most dangerous because these often cause and increase the risk of vehicle fire.

In the US, around 3,300 people are injured and 550 die in vehicle fires every year. A substantial number of these fatalities and injuries can be linked to defective gas tanks whose fuel system or other related components can cause a leak or trigger an explosion especially during collisions.

The proper design and quality construction of gas tanks are important to keep them safe and in the event that the manufacturer was remiss and allowed defective gas tanks to be put in vehicles in the market, they may be sued on the basis of product liability.

Personal Injury Claims

If you wish to file a personal injury claim, a wrongful death complaint or even a defective gas tanks lawsuit against an automaker, make sure that you get an expert attorney who is experienced and successful in handling such cases. Going up against car manufacturers is not going to be easy, so it is up to you to find the attorney who can bring down a goliath.