Earlier this year, a truck was led astray by a defective navigation app which stranded his truck on a rail crossing. The driver left the truck to seek assistance, and a train crashed into the truck, derailing it. The accident caused several fatalities. The driver is now being indicted for vehicular manslaughter and other associated charges. The heart of this accident is the failure of the navigation app and the lack of safety warnings for rail crossings. This post will go over the dangers with navigation apps and what is being done to make them safer.
Safety experts are calling for louder electric vehicles (EVs). Since their inception, cars have always been loud. People rely on noise to alert them to their environment all the time, just consider that all cars are equipped with horns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they are releasing new safety standards to make EVs louder.
At first blush, it seems that defects in autonomous cars should be treated as any other defect, under products liability. In a products liability suit, the manufacturer, supplier, retailer or seller bears responsibility once the plaintiff establishes that the product was defective and that defect caused her injury.
You probably heard the recent news about the Galaxy Note 7, that they have a tendency to explode. One exploded on an airplane which necessitated an evacuation and a few caught fire while people were asleep. They caught fire before the recall and after. The original models and the "fixed" ones both explode. All of this news culminates in Samsung's recent decisions to halt the Galaxy Note 7 production line.
Ford Motor Company continues to be dogged by recalls regarding a defective door latch to its Lincoln model vehicles. At the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, Ford agreed to expand the recall notice from its 2013-2015 Ford C-Max and Ford Escape, 2015 Ford Mustang, Lincoln MKC, 2014-2016 Ford Transit Connect, and 2012-2015 Ford Focus. The recall now affects around 2,383,292 vehicles sold throughout North America.
Much has been made in the news of late regarding the combusting batteries in Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. The world's largest cell phone manufacturer recalled 2.5 million units of its new top-of-the-line model on Sept. 2nd after it was reported that there were 92 instances in the U.S. where batteries overheated or caught fire while charging. This is the result of a battery manufacturer error.
The issue of liability for self-driving cars is not yet resolved. The government has not proposed new regulations nor has Congress passed any new laws. In the absence of new law, many companies that are developing self-driven cars are potentially exposing themselves to huge liability risks. A products liability case develops when a person is injured because a product they purchased did not perform in the manner expected.
Hoverboards, among the biggest ticket items during last winter's shopping season, are being recalled after some owners reported explosions and fires causing serious injuries. The deceptively named 'hoverboard' (after the technology seen in Back to the Future) are two-wheeled motorized scooters. They don't actually hover, like the ones seen in the movies, instead they are agile motorized platforms. They are similar to miniature Segueways without the handlebar.
You probably read about the unfortunate accident in Florida involving a self-driven car. This accident, while tragic, also raises issues of liability, fault, and legality. In an accident involving a self-driven car, who is at fault? Can you sue the car manufacturer for products liability if the onboard computer malfunctioned? What if the computer did everything correct, according to its programming, but that still resulted in an accident? This post will address these questions.
As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, we are reminded that summer is officially here! Although the summer months are usually filled with fun in the sun, it also leads to an increase in products liability concerns. World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., (W.A.T.C.H.) reminds us today that there are many summer toy products on the market that can cause serious injury to children.