Chrysler is recalling 282,000 minivans from the 2013 model year because the side air bags can deploy on the wrong side in a crash. Affected models are the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Ram Cargo Van. The campaign involves 224,000 vehicles in the U.S.; 49,300 in Canada; 2,900 in Mexico and 5,300 elsewhere.
Side air bags are supposed to deploy on the side of the vehicle that’s involved in a crash. Chrysler says a software problem is causing its air bags to deploy on the opposing side of the vehicle. In the event of a crash, the wrong side airbags could deploy leaving the occupant with no airbag protection at the point of impact, increasing the risk of injury.
Chrysler says it began investigating the issue after a customer complaint. The company says there has been one minor injury related to the defect.
Crashworthiness: protecting vehicle occupants in a crash
Car and truck manufacturers have a duty to build a car that is as safe as is reasonably possible under the present state of mechanical technology, vehicle design, and safety. Manufacturers are obligated to design vehicles so that they are safe for any reasonably foreseeable use. Obviously, it is reasonably foreseeable that any car or truck will be involved in a collision. Thus, a car manufacturer’s duty includes designing a vehicle that is reasonably safe when a collision occurs.
The ability of a vehicle to protect the occupants of a vehicle in a crash is called “crashworthiness.” The concept of “crashworthiness” refers broadly to numerous features— for example: seat belts, crumple zones and airbags—which are designed to minimize occupant injuries, prevent ejection from the vehicle, and reduce the risk of fire.
A crashworthiness case could involve aspects of the vehicle such as:
- Air Bags
- Child Seats
- Auto Glass
- Roof (“roof crush”)
- Seat Belts
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident, it may well be that the injuries were caused or made worse because the vehicle was not sufficiently crashworthy. In order to determine whether you may have a case, you need to retain experienced, qualified legal counsel at the earliest opportunity.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have the experience and knowledge to pursue a crashworthiness claim against any of the major auto manufacturers. Contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free contact form located on this page.