In its second large-scale recall this calendar year, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has put out repair orders for just under 500,000 pickup trucks from the 2013 to 2017 model years. The affected vehicles, primarily Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 pickups, were assembled with faulty water pumps that can overheat and have a small risk of causing a fire in the engine compartment.
FCA says it is unaware of any injuries or vehicle crashes caused by this problem and that it no longer uses this pump in its vehicles, but customers are encouraged to check with their dealers and have the pumps in their vehicles inspected if they’ve noticed a warning light related to this system.
This past May, FCA issued a recall affecting nearly 1.3 million vehicles, primarily 2013 to 2016 model Ram pickups (Ram was a Dodge line until several years ago, and is now a standalone brand). That problem involved a software fault that could lead to side airbags not deploying and seat belts failing under certain conditions, specifically in some types of rollover crash. FCA had identified one death and two serious injuries at the time of the recall.
That problem was similar to one reported by General Motors several months earlier, which led to close to 4.3 million vehicles being placed under recall. GM knew of one death and three serious injuries related to front airbags and seat belts not operating in crashes because the airbag control system could switch into a “test mode” and fail to deploy under some crash conditions.
It’s not clear that any lawsuits have been filed against FCA or GM over these product failures, but anyone injured because of faulty devices, and the survivors of those killed, might have the basis for a civil suit.
GM settled long-running suits in 2014 (and again this year) when it agreed to pay millions to victims and their families who were harmed by faulty ignition switches, which were tied to airbag deployment problems.
Several automakers involved in the gigantic Takata airbag recall (the largest in automotive history, currently affecting more than 42 million vehicles worldwide) agreed to a deal that could ultimately offer $500 in compensation to every affected car owner. Several other manufacturers, as well as Takata itself (which has already been hit with more than $1 billion in fines), are discussing possible settlements and litigation.
Sometimes a recall happens because a manufacturer has discovered a previously unknown problem and they do the right thing by fixing it immediately. But sometimes a company knows that its product is dangerous, either by design or by error, and yet continues to make and sell it anyway. In all cases when a product causes injury or death (or even property damage), the maker can be held accountable by those who were harmed.
When you’ve been the victim of a dangerous product, call Craig Swapp & Associates. We have experience with defective product law, and we offer a free consultation to every client to discuss their unique case. Reach us online through the form below or dial 1-800-404-9000 today. You can also launch the LiveChat feature from any page of this website to learn more now.