Chrysler is recalling its 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size vans over concerns that the accelerator pedal on the vehicles could stick, causing unintended acceleration that could lead to an accident. The recall notice will affect approximately 9,655 Ram ProMaster vehicles, including 7,935 vans sold in the U.S.
According to an article published by Car and Driver magazine, the accelerator pedal on the Ram ProMaster may stick in the wide-open position when force is applied at an angle. The problem with the van was discovered during testing at a Chrysler facility, when a pedal on the vehicle became stuck after a driver applied downward pressure at an angle. Subsequent testing revealed that a 3.0-inch (75-mm) stopper on the accelerator pedal could become snagged on the edge of the disc when force was applied at an angle, causing it to remain hooked in place.
Although the Ram ProMaster is equipped with a brake-throttle override system—which allows the driver to override any input from the accelerator by applying the brake pedal—Chrysler ordered a recall of the vehicle over concerns that it could lead to accidents due to unintended acceleration. So far, there have been no reported cases of accidents or injuries with the 2014 Ram ProMaster due to these accelerator pedal problems.
Chrysler has announced that it will notify owners of the 2014 Ram ProMaster about problems with the vehicle and will replace the accelerator pedal stopper on the vehicle with a larger part. The company has also notified Fiat about the ProMaster accelerator pedal problems because of similarities between the design of that vehicle and Fiat’s Ducato van.
Unintended Vehicle Acceleration May Lead to Deadly Accidents
Although no injuries have been reported so far due to accelerator problems with the Chrysler Ram ProMaster, unintended vehicle acceleration has become a serious problem in recent years following a number of deadly accidents involving other vehicles.
As we have previously reported, Toyota has been forced to pay tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for lawsuits involving the deaths of Toyota and Lexus drivers who were killed or injured due to accidents caused by the sudden acceleration of their vehicles. Toyota has already agreed to a fine of $17.35 million over allegations by federal regulators that the company took too long to report problems with its vehicles that could lead to accidents caused by unintended acceleration. The company was also forced to pay $1 billion to resolve lawsuits involving economic losses to car owners due to the recall of 16 million Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles because of a risk of sudden vehicle acceleration.
In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into similar problems with Ford and Mercury vehicles after receiving dozens of reports of sudden acceleration with 2000-2003 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable mid-size sedans. According to the NHTSA investigation, problems with the four-valve 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 engines on these vehicles may also place drivers at risk of accidents caused by unintended acceleration.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson and Auto Accident Claims
When automobiles are not properly designed, the consequences can be deadly. Automakers have a responsibility to build cars that are as safe as possible under current manufacturing, design, and safety standards. When car and trucks are not designed and built to meet the present design standards—or when these automobiles are not built to properly keep drivers and passengers safe in the event of a crash—the manufacturer of the vehicle may be at fault.
If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt in a car accident, it may well be that these injuries were caused or made worse because the vehicle was not properly manufactured, or because it was not sufficiently crashworthy. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the experience and knowledge to pursue crashworthiness claims against any major auto manufacturers. For a free legal consultation and to speak with an attorney about your case, contact the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form.