Ford Motor Company is facing a number of lawsuits over defective door latches installed on millions of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. Over 4 million model years 1997-2000 F-150s, F-250s, Expeditions, Navigators and Blackwoods are built with the latches in question. According to the product liability lawsuits, the latches have a tendency to fail during an accident
. This failure causes vehicle doors to swing open, often ejecting passengers from their automobile.
Adding to Ford's negligence are internal company documents that indicate the automaker knew the latches were faulty but overruled a conclusion made by safety engineers to recall the vehicles and notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Plaintiff attorneys are arguing Ford's decision was strictly financial. The cost of such a recall would have reached over $500 million.
Ford did redesign the door latches in 2000 to withstand greater force but failed to notify 1997-2000 model year truck and SUV owners about the safety issues. In April 2004, a settlement was reached in the first door latch case to go to trial. The lawsuit was filed by the family of two sisters who died in a rollover accident involving a 1999 F-150. Both women were ejected from the truck when its latch failed.
If you have been injured because of a faulty door latch installed on a Ford truck or SUV, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
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