The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Ford Motor Company’s cars and SUVs for stalling or surging engine problems.  The investigation will cover about 725,000 vehicles including the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner as well as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan.  All models were manufactured between 2009 and 2011.

How The Investigation Began

According to data collected by the NHTSA and Ford, at least 1,500 drivers have experienced sudden loss of power that can lead to crashes.  So far, there have been three reports of collisions, one with an injury.

The NHTSA became involved because the North Carolina Consumers Council had received many complaints about the vehicles and petitioned for an investigation.  Any non-profit consumer safety group can petition the NHTSA to look into problems related to safety in vehicles.  So far, a recall has not been issued but the agency has not ruled out that possibility.

Ford reported that vehicles manufactured between June 22, 2009, and October 15, 2009, may contain faulty circuit boards that control vehicle throttle.  The supplier worked with Ford to change the manufacturing process, and no more problems were reported after October 2009.

However, the NHTSA has decided to investigate vehicles manufactured after that date due to the fact that owners of 2010 and 2011 vehicles have also reported the problem.  Ford has also received more than 27,500 warranty claims for throttle problems.

Can I Be Injured By A Recall Problem?

Every year, people are injured in crashes related to recall issues.  Sudden unintended acceleration has been one of the most deadly forms of recall problems in recent years, but other problems also lead to death and injury.  Exploding tires, sudden losses of power, and seizing of axles or steering wheels could precipitate a deadly crash or one that causes serious injuries.

Those who are affected by vehicle recalls should take care of the problem immediately according to the manufacturer’s or NHTSA’s directions.  Ignoring a recall issue could lead to serious personal injury or death.

Can I Collect Damages for a Recall Injury?

A recall does not relieve the manufacturer of legal responsibility for the damages caused by a crash that occurs due to auto defects.  When a manufacturer creates or produces a product that injures others, that manufacturer may have to pay compensation to anyone who is injured through the use of the product.  This is known as the theory of product liability.

In order for a manufacturer to be liable for damages caused by a product, the following must be true:

  • The manufacturer was responsible for the design, production or marketing of the product.
  • The produce was deficient in design or manufacture or the company marketed the product inaccurately or dishonestly.
  • The victim was injured while using the product in the intended manner and made no unauthorized modifications to the product.

In the case of recall defects, the products usually meet the test for manufacturer liability when drivers are injured.  A personal injury attorney can help victims recover damages for injuries they sustain due to these defective products.