Auto Product

The Law Offices of James S. Rogers has extensive experience representing clients in injury and wrongful death lawsuits against major car manufacturers. Anytime a vehicle, which is designed and manufactured to protect occupants during an impact, is in a crash, the auto manufacturer and seller might be liable for damages if the vehicle was not crashworthy or has defects in design or manufacturing.

Our team welcomes the opportunity to take on complex litigation against automakers and related entities with virtually unlimited legal resources.

 We’ve litigated cases against automakers including but not limited to:

  • General Motors Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Fiat Chrysler Corporation (and predecessor entities)
  • Nissan Motor Company
  • Honda Motor Company
  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Suzuki Motor Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Additional examples of past cases and recent major automobile product defects are below. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a defective vehicle, feel free to ask us questions or consult.

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In October of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled cars with airbags manufactured by the Japanese supplier, Takata. A propellant inside the airbags was deemed unstable and could explode even in a minor accident. This sent metal shards flying into the cabin, causing injuries and death. Recalls continue to grow and consumers continue to drive at-risk vehicles with Takata airbags. 

In February of 2014, GM recalled 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars that had faulty ignitions that could unexpectedly turn off the engine. This disabled power steering, power brakes and the airbags. GM added additional waves of recalls until more than 30 million vehicles were recalled.

The Law Offices of James S. Rogers represented families of two people that died in separate accidents caused by ignition switch failures. 

Since 1999, more than 2,000 Toyota and Lexus owners have reported to the National Highway Safety Administration and other agencies incidents where their vehicles suddenly accelerate, a phenomenon known as Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA), when the driver’s foot is not on the pedal. As of Feb. 2010 SUA in Toyota and Lexus vehicles was reported to be the cause of 814 crashes, 341 injuries and 19 deaths.

 

For more information on SUA visit: www.safetyresearch.net/toyota-sudden-unintended-acceleration

In March of 2016, a Texas jury awarded a more than $124.5 million verdict against Audi after an 11-year old boy suffered permanent brain damage in an automobile accident. The child was sitting behind his father in the back seat of the car. Upon impact, the driver’s seat collapsed backward and the boy’s father flew backward into the boy causing his injuries.

Seat back failure during crashes have also been seen in incidents involving almost every major American, Japanese and Korean automaker. 

In accidents that involve a rollover, some vehicles’ roofs crush due to weak or poor design. This poses a serious risk to drivers and passengers, as the roof often enters the occupant’s survival space. This can cause brain injury, paralysis or death.

Alternatives that prevent roof crush, from roll bars to reinforced roof supports, exist. But, it is ultimately the auto manufacturer that decides if they should install these items.

Stronger regulations that require more stringent testing of vehicles to prevent roof crush was implemented in September of 2015. Though the standard is an improvement, it still does not go far enough to protect occupants. 

Airbag deployment is often key to preventing and minimizing the effects of a crash. But, injuries from defect airbags can cause serious injuries.

The Law Offices of James S. Rogers has secured settlements for individuals that have suffered serious spinal cord injuries, blindness and death. 

Chrysler, maker of Jeep, in 2013 and 2014 recalled 1.5 million vehicles because of the risk that the gas tank could explode in a rear-end accident. For the vehicles in question, the gas tank hangs below the rear bumper, exposing it to the risk upon impact. 

As of March 2015, the government estimates deaths from deadly fires in jeeps is upwards of 50 people.

Tests have shown that the dangers are prevalent in 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberties. 

Old tires pose a significant risk, regardless of their tread condition, to consumer safety and put individuals at risk of serious injury or death. But many consumers do not know how to determine the age of the tires they purchase, and many businesses do not actively disclose the age of a tire.

The Law Offices of James S. Rogers represented Diana Hubner in a wrongful death suit after Diana’s husband, Clayton, died in 2012 when the tread on the tires of the truck in which he was a passenger separated, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. Just a month and a half before the crash, Diana had the tires inspected and they were cleared as safe to drive. They had safe tread, but the tires were 14 years old. Most manufacturers recommend tires be tossed six years after their manufacturer date.

Consumers should always look for the DOT number on the tire, which tells the week and year they were manufactured, before purchasing. 

Many car manufacturers are now offering keyless ignition and entry options for new cars. All that’s needed to unlock and start a car is for a fob to be close enough to the car to trigger the locks and ignition.

An unintended consequence of this new system is that while the fob is required to be in the area of the car for the car to start, it’s not the same for the car to shut off.

Many fatalities have been reported from individuals driving their keyless car into their enclosed garage, closing the garage door and entering the house without shutting off the car. The car will continue to run until it runs out of gas, often allowing dangerous and potentially deadly levels of carbon monoxide to fill the garage and home.  

"When I started the law firm in December, 1986, I never dreamed it would become the exciting practice it is today, with our firm being associated by some of the best firms in Washington state and nationally."

-   James S. Rogers, Seattle, WA

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