Fiat Chrysler has announced a recall for 494,417 model year 2013-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks due to the risk of fire posed by a faulty water pump. Approximately 433,000 of these potentially dangerous vehicles, all with 6.7-liter diesel engines, have been sold in the United States.
While the company acknowledges the recall surrounds “a small number of fire-related incidents,” it maintains that no injuries have yet been reported. If you are concerned that your vehicle may be included in this recall but have not been notified, please visit the NHTSA’s Vin Look-Up page to be sure.
This recall marks the second major recall by Fiat Chrysler in fewer than three months. In July, the company issued a recall for 1.33 million vehicles worldwide – 538,000 of which were in the United States. That recall included fire risks, but was primarily focused on “inadvertent airbag deployment” in model years 2011-2015 Dodge Journey vehicles.
Vehicle recalls were, at one point in time, relatively uncommon. In recent years, however, there seems to be a new one every week. Some of these, such as the GM ignition switch recall and the Takata airbag recall, have only occurred after lives were lost or serious injury had occurred. Others, like the latest recall from Fiat Chrysler, are issued before injury has been reported. But this does not alter the auto manufacturer’s liability if injuries follow.
Recalls may be a proactive way of preventing serious injury or death when a product – automobile or otherwise – is shown to be defective or dangerous. When a company issues a recall, they are attempting to minimize the harm that the defective product may eventually cause. They are also trying to limit the amount of compensation they will have to pay future victims of their poorly designed or manufactured products. Issuing a recall does not protect a company from liability if their product proves harmful.
It is always a good idea to follow recalls. If you receive a notice for a vehicle recall, take your car or truck to the closest dealership for free repairs. This is the most effective way to ensure you are not injured by the faulty part. However, if you never receive notice of a recall or if you are injured prior to being able to take your vehicle in, you may be entitled to compensation for all related damages, even if a recall has been issued.
The product liability attorneys at our Los Angeles area office understand the complexities of these cases and have the resources and experience necessary to help victims of defective products get justice. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a defective product, call 310-536-1000 for a free case evaluation and to learn how we can help.
What Qualifies as a Defective Product?
Any product that causes harm due to a design or manufacturing defect may be considered dangerous and qualify victims of injury for legal action.
- Manufacturing defects: poor quality materials, inattention to assembly, and rushing a product to market can all result in serious injury or death. These and similar manufacturing defects are often at the heart of product liability cases
- Design defects: when a product’s design is such that it is inherently dangerous or useless, the manufacturer can be held liable for any damages it causes. Design defects can occur even when production and materials are of the highest quality
While this may seem fairly straightforward, several things must be proven in the state of California to win a product liability case. These include:
- Establishing which company, supplier, or parts manufacturer designed and produced the product
- Proving the product was defective due to design or production
- Showing that harm occurred while the product was being used
- Proving that the harm caused was due to the product, not the way in which it was being used
You cannot sue the manufacturer of, for example, a staple gun if injury occurred while pointing the tool at your face. You can, however, hold that manufacturer responsible for injury that occurs when the product is being used as intended.
It is important to remember that, in many product liability cases, the manufacturer will try to establish that injury was your fault and not the result of their product. This is just one of the many reasons you need an experienced and aggressive defective product attorney working with you as soon as possible after you are injured.
Product Liability Statute of Limitations in California
The statute of limitations for suing a manufacturer over a product defect in California is two years from the time injury occurred. In cases involving defective medications or dangerous medical devices, where injury may be slower to present itself, you have two years from the time of its discovery. But it is never a good idea to wait until the statute of limitations is approaching to take action.
The longer you wait to take legal action, the harder it becomes to prove your case. It is always a good idea to contact an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as you discover injury has occurred. Contacting our attorneys enables us to get to work swiftly on your case, making it easier to establish a link between your injury and the product that caused it. We are here to get to work on our case right away, and to help you get the full compensation you deserve in the shortest amount of time possible.
Why Choose Kirtland & Packard, LLP for Your Product Liability Claim?
The personal injury lawyers at Kirtland & Packard have decades of combined experience helping victims of defective products get justice. Several of our attorneys have won awards and distinctions from peers and legal associations, serving as testament to their abilities. But it is our dedication to each client we serve that truly makes Kirtland & Packard unique. Please take a moment to look over our reviews to learn more about what our clients have to say – then contact our Torrance product liability lawyers to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you get the justice you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation at our Redondo Beach office, please call 310-536-1000 today.