Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 13, 2011 – Certain Jeep Grand Cherokees models are extremely susceptible to bursting into flames when slammed from behind. Where is the recall?
“It is not often you will hear a personal injury lawyer wondering why a certain item on the market has not been recalled,” insisted Robert W. Lee, an Austin personal injury attorney at The Lee Law Firm. “But when it comes to the Jeep Grand Cherokee from model years 1993 through to 2004, I believe they should be recalled due to their poor fuel system design that makes them likely to leak fuel and catch fire when hit from behind. This could result in serious burn injuries or death to the occupants.”
The problem is the position of the gas tank. It is located in an area that engineers refer to as the crush zone, which means if something punctures the tank on impact, leaking gasoline can ignite and go up in flames. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not a good place to have a gas tank.
“It is hard to understand why automotive engineers would design and utilize a fuel system like this when they know the extreme dangers created by leaking fuel,” said Lee. “They should have learned their lessons from the Ford Pinto that had the fuel tank located in the rear and was eventually recalled after hundreds of reports of injuries and deaths.”
It is not just lawyers that are wondering why this vehicle is still on the market. The Center for Auto Safety’s crash tests revealed if hit from behind, the Grand Cherokees could leak fuel and catch fire in an instant. The Center’s most recent test was barely a month ago. “The red flag here is that these models are far more likely to sustain a fuel leak in a rear-impact collision and put occupants in critical danger,” added Lee. In collisions like this, it would not just be the occupants in the vehicle hit that were at risk. The at-fault driver would also be in great danger of being engulfed by flames.
“Unfortunately these tests may also fall into the category of being too little, too late, as tests were being demanded on these vehicles well over a year ago,” Lee commented. “Research has shown that Grand Cherokees have been involved in 172 fatal fire crashes, killing 254 people. Obviously, it is past the time to take action.”
If it takes 254 dead people with stories about what their lives may have been to spur a car maker into making safer vehicles, that is a downright shame. If children and babies and their parents die because someone is selling a defectively designed vehicle, that is negligence, and someone needs to be held responsible for it. “And it is not like there was not a direct causal connection between the rear impact and the fuel tank bursting into flames. Far too many witnesses to those accidents testified the fire was virtually instantaneous after impact,” noted Lee.
Of course, Jeep denies any connection between these two events, which is one very good reason why anyone involved in a wreck needs an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer to cut through the double-talk and evasive actions on the manufacturer’s side. “The bottom line is that auto makers have a responsibility to make their vehicles safe for consumers,” Lee remarked. “If they do not, they can be sued – it is that simple.”
The Lee Law Firm
11824 Jollyville Road, Suite 302
Austin, Texas 78759