Automaker Recalls Pickups With Bad Transmissions
Citing a manufacturing defect, Ford recalled over 52,000 Kentucky-built vehicles because they might roll uncontrollably when parked.
All affected vehicles were built between October 2015 and March 2017. Evidently, due a damaged park rod actuating plate that disengages the pin, the transmission does not go into Park even if the gear select is on P. When the pin doesn’t lock, the transmission stays in Neutral, so the vehicle may move even if it is on a flat surface. To cure the manufacturing defect, dealer mechanics will inspect and replace the park rod actuating plate.
No injuries have been reported.
Responsibility for Manufacturing Defects
“Manufcturing defect” is an umbrella term for any product defect that occurs between the design phase and the moment the product leaves the manufacturer’s control (i.e. when the product is shipped or when it is unloaded at its destination).
Typically, the defect occurs during the manufacturing process itself. For example, a screw may be misaligned by a fraction of an inch, causing the device to be unstable. Or, an operating control rod might be only partially within the operating control rod guide.
Manufacturing defects are usually easier to prove than design defects, because in the latter instances, victim/plaintiffs must prove that the product, as designed, was unreasonably dangerous. In some jurisdictions, victim/plaintiffs must also prove that the manufacturer rejected a reasonable alternative design that would have been safer.
Compensation in manufacturing defect cases includes damages for medical bills and other economic losses, along with emotional distress and other noneconomic damages. In most product liability cases, the defendant ignored a known risk, so substantial punitive damage awards are the norm.
Product defect cases are strict liability matters, so victim/plaintiffs need only establish that the defect caused their injuries.
Product misuse is a defense to manufacturing defect cases, but the defense is not easy to establish.
For example, to establish product misuse in the Ford recall case, the manufacturer would have to show that the victim/plaintiff used the truck in a way totally unrelated to its ordinary use, such as trying to drive across the Ohio River.
Defective products often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced products liability attorney in Bowling Green, contact Gary S. Logsdon. Home and hospital visits are available.