When a car is involved in a collision, a properly designed and manufactured gas tank typically remains intact and will not combust and explode. Unfortunately, despite decades of automobile development and widespread recognition of the dangers of improperly designed fuel tanks, car manufacturers continue to design and construct fuel tanks in a way that subjects drivers and passengers to an unreasonable risk of irreparable harm on the roadways. When an auto company fails to properly and safely design or construct a fuel tank, and injuries result, that company should and can be held liable.
Car fuel tanks that are located behind the rear axle of the vehicle are particularly vulnerable to causing a violent, fuel-fed fire in the event of a collision. Recently, in 2013 Chrysler announced a recall of 1.56 million Jeep SUVs that had rear fuel tanks behind the rear axles. The 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee were recalled to add towing hitches for extra protection in crashes. Despite the recall, these defective Jeep vehicles have continued to cause severe injuries and tragic deaths due to the defective fuel tank systems. This month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it was considering reopening an investigation into these faulty Jeep fuel tanks.
Beyond the location of the fuel tank on the vehicle, a car manufacturer may also be liable for:
- Defective construction of the tank;
- Faulty materials used in the formulation of the tank that may make the tank susceptible to puncture;
- Failing to properly secure or shield the tank.
The manufacturer also has a duty to safely design and manufacture the fuel lines that carry gasoline from the fuel tank to the engine.
When a manufacturer fails to uphold their duty to keep the driver and passengers safe, their failure can result in horrific, life-altering damages. Victims of such negligence have a right to compensation when. Those impacted need a law firm that has the resources, skills, and track record to take on the largest and most sophisticated corporate defendants.
Product Liability Experience
For decades, Ashcraft & Gerel has consistently achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for its clients. We are recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent law firms for handling complex product liability cases and holding corporate giants accountable for negligence. Some of our recent victories include a $5 million verdict in a products liability action against GE Healthcare. We were also instrumental in securing the recent $650 million settlement for popular drug Pradaxa on behalf of people who were seriously injured or died as a result of using the drug. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to a car fuel tank explosion or fire, please contact us online or call us at 800-829-7037 for a free and confidential consultation.