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Serious safety issues may warrant auto product liability claims

The decision to purchase a vehicle is seldom undertaken without consideration of a particular model's safety and reliability reputation. Once a customer makes the purchase, he or she is entitled to reasonable expectations that the vehicle will perform in a safe and satisfactory manner. When an Arizona resident suffers injuries or sustains significant property damages due to a defective vehicle component, an auto product liability claim may be warranted.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a recall for all of its 2019 Ram 1500 pickups. According to the company and officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the trucks are experiencing a defect in the supplemental safety restraint system which is also affecting the tightening mechanism on seat belts. An estimated 296,900 trucks are included in the recall which affects all of the specified models that have been produced through April of this year. An FCA spokesperson said that when the driver switches off the ignition, the main component within the airbag control system may prematurely clear the memory during shutdown which is causing a disruption in the proper functioning of the system. 

When the problem occurs, drivers may notice that the airbag dashboard light activates. In addition, the automaker says that the airbag may fail to deploy in an accident and that the pretensioners on seat belts may fail to tighten. To date, the company is unaware of any accidents or injuries that can be attributed to the computer defect. It says that all software will be updated in July in preparation for the 2020 production lines. 

Repairs for the recall are also expected to begin in July. This is just the most recent recall that FCA has issued over the past few years for problems ranging from airbag deficiencies, steering issues to problems with tailgates. Arizona residents who are injured by a vehicle malfunction are entitled to seek recovery of their monetary damages via an auto product liability lawsuit.  

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