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Defects in car keyless ignition systems prompt class action suit

Posted on Friday, October 2nd, 2015 at 3:52 pm    

With the advancements in automotive technology that is available today, drivers can now start their cars with the use of keyless ignition systems. Instead of using traditional keys, a driver can easily start their vehicle with a single press of a button. This mechanism works as long as the driver has the special electronic key fob on their person, since the ignition system is ideally designed to start only when it detects the fob within a given radius. Unfortunately, this state-of-the art design isn’t always foolproof. As a matter of fact, several car makers are currently facing a class action lawsuit because of this very issue.

Keyless Ignition

As reported by CNN Money, a class action lawsuit has been filed against the country’s top automakers for dangerous defects in keyless ignition systems. The lawsuit alleges that the defective keyless ignition systems allow cars to continue running even after the key fob is no longer within the specified vicinity required by the system. This led to cars continuing to run even while parked, causing carbon monoxide to build-up inside enclosed garages and seep inside people’s homes.

The lawsuit cites 13 fatalities caused by such incidents, including one that involves a Toyota Prius hybrid. Aside from Toyota, the other car makers named in the suit include General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Honda.

How Volkswagen Avoided EPA Emission Regulations

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 5:52 pm    

In 2009, tougher vehicle emissions regulations were instituted to protect the environment from the vast amounts of nitrogen oxide that cars were emitting all over the globe. These regulations came at the detriment of automobile manufacturers that produced diesel vehicles, which emit higher rates of nitrogen oxide due to the diesel fuel burned. Volkswagen was one of the first automobile manufactures to release a diesel vehicle that met the new, strict regulations.

Unlike most diesel vehicles that input an additional tank of urea-based solution used to decrease nitrogen oxide emissions, Volkswagen insisted the 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine on its smaller models did not require a rea injection system. They offered little explanation to this; however the vehicles were emitting satisfactory emission levels.

On September 18, it was discovered that Volkswagen has installed a software algorithm in its smaller diesel vehicles that could recognize when a car was being tested for emission levels. When the software suspected the test was occurring, the car would reduce emissions for the purpose of passing the test.

Volkswagen released almost 11 million TDI diesel cars that contained the “defeat device.” According to website of The Driscoll Firm, the device would deceptively show emission levels that met EPA’s legal limits instead of the true emissions that, in reality, exceeded regulations 10 to 40 times over. The car company has not released an official recall of its products to repair the software.

The cars affected include 2009 to 2015 TDI Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and Audi A3s as well as the 2014 to 2015 Passat. These vehicles are powered by 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engines which were theorized to be small enough to not require the AdBlue solution other diesel engines utilized to meet more stringent emissions regulations. The EPA is investigating the case further to establish the scope of consequences from this event.

Stryker Hip Implant Trials Scheduled for mid-2015

Posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at 3:47 pm    

hip implantA case management order filed earlier this year for the multidistrict litigation case regarding defective Stryker Hip Implants in the District of Minnesota (MDL 2441) indicates that the cases may go to trial by next summer. MDL 2441 currently represent 616 cases but more than 1,500 cases are pending throughout the US and the number of lawsuits filed is only expected to rise.

The Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Hip implants and similar models were recalled in 2012 when studies revealed that the products had unacceptably high rates of failure, causing a lot of pain as well as bone and organ damage in some cases, often requiring replacement surgery. The hip implants were supposed to last at least 15 years before needing replacement, but about 13% of patients needed replacement less than two years after implant surgery. Many patients retained metal debris that resulted from a design defect in the implants.

A similar case was filed against medical device maker and Stryker Co. rival Biomet, which has agreed to settle cases under MDL 2391 in the Northern District of Indiana for its M2a 38 and M2a Magnum hip implants. Stryker likewise settled four cases on December 16, 2013.

Subaru Recalls over 5,000 Vehicles over Steering Concerns

Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 8:29 pm    

Subaru has announced that they will recall 5,379 vehicles from their 2013 Outback and Legacy lines because of concerns over a defect with the vehicles’ steering.steering wheel Specifically, the company is concerned that in some vehicles, two components in the steering  shaft do not meet, resulting in drivers’ losing the ability to steer their vehicles.

This defect was actually discovered in June of last year in an Indiana assembly plant. The company stopped selling the vehicles while they attempted to identify and address the defect, but earlier this year, they received a complaint from a Subaru owner that he was unable to steer his vehicle. The company is currently informing dealerships about the potential defect and the subsequent recall, and expects that dealerships will begin to notify owners within 30 days.

Subaru is the most recent auto manufacturers to issue a recall of their vehicles in recent weeks. Recently, Chrysler recalled nearly 500,000 Jeep models over concerns of a transmission defect. Sources within Subaru have said that they are not aware of any injuries resulting from this defect, and this voluntary recall is likely intended to help prevent any future injuries from occurring and avoid subsequent legal liability. You can read more about the Subaru recall by clicking here.

Annie’s Issues Voluntary Recall of Frozen Pizza

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 5:33 pm    

PizzaAccording to a story in the Oakland Tribune, Annie’s Homegrown, a natural and organic foods company based out of Berkeley, CA, issued a voluntary recall of their frozen Rising Crust Pizza after a faulty screen at their production plant resulted in metal shards finding their way into flour and pizza dough.

Although there are no reports of injuries or consultations with personal injury lawyers because of the incident, Annie’s decided to recall frozen Rising Crust Pizzas with a “best buy” date between January 9th and September 14th of this year. Additionally, there have been no reports of consumers finding any metal in store-bought pizzas.