Ford has issued a recall for nearly 43,000 automobiles due to a critical error involving cracked fuel injectors. This defect poses a significant risk of gas leaks and subsequent engine fires, prompting federal auto regulators to open an investigation.

Ford Fire Recall on Broncos and Escapes: Understanding Vehicle Fires and Legal Implications

Ford has issued a recall for nearly 43,000 automobiles due to a critical error involving cracked fuel injectors. This defect poses a significant risk of gas leaks and subsequent engine fires, prompting federal auto regulators to open an investigation into Ford fires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the probe shortly after the recall was made public. The affected vehicles include 22,270 Bronco Sport vehicles from 2022 and 2023 and 20,382 Escape vehicles from 2022, all equipped with 1.5-liter engines.

Owners of the recalled SUVs should take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for a complimentary installation of a drain tube and an engine control software update to detect fuel injection system pressure drops. This software update is designed to disable the high-pressure fuel pump, reduce engine power, and lower engine compartment temperatures in the event of a pressure drop while also notifying the owner to seek service.

However, it’s crucial to note that the recall remedy does not involve replacing the cracked fuel injector, raising concerns among safety regulators about its effectiveness.

The timeline of events reveals that dealers were notified about the recall on March 11, with Ford initiating notifications to affected owners starting April 1. Owners can check the NHTSA website to determine if their vehicle is subject to the recall. Ford’s designated recall number is 24S16, an expansion of a previous recall numbered 22V-859.

While no injuries related to this specific recall are reported, the potential consequences of vehicle fires, as highlighted by recent statistics and legal insights, underscore the seriousness of the issue.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), mechanical failures, including those related to the vehicle’s electrical system, are a leading cause of vehicle fires. Additionally, older vehicles, improper repairs, and defects in design or construction can contribute to the likelihood of fires occurring, especially in the aftermath of a collision.

Injuries resulting from car fires can be catastrophic, ranging from thermal burns to fatalities. Victims may suffer long-term physical and emotional trauma, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. In such cases, determining liability for damages becomes paramount, with potential defendants including the at-fault driver, auto manufacturers, or repair companies.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a car fire, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. Consulting with experienced attorneys, such as those at Paul Knopf Bigger, can provide valuable guidance and advocacy throughout the process.

Exploring Legal Options: Can You Pursue Legal Action After A Ford Fire?

Though not common, car fires, like a Ford fire, can result in severe injuries and significant property damage. Statista reported approximately 174,000 highway vehicle fires in 2021, leading to around 1,100 injuries and 650 deaths. While some fires stem from external factors like crashes or environmental conditions, they are attributed to vehicle defects or malfunctions.

Given the potential for life-altering injuries or substantial property loss, individuals may wonder about their options for seeking compensation after a car fire. If your vehicle ignites due to an auto manufacturer’s negligence, you may have grounds for a successful product liability lawsuit. Paul Knopf Bigger emphasizes that proving a defect in design or manufacturing resulted in a hazardous fire is crucial for such a case.  Paul Knopf Bigger has successfully tried and won against Ford in court.

Vehicle Fires: Understanding Product Liability

Product liability lawsuits arise when a product’s marketing, manufacturing, or design flaws endanger consumers. To file such a lawsuit successfully, the injured party or their legal representative must demonstrate that the injuries directly resulted from the defect and wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. Several types of defects may contribute to a vehicle fire:

1. Manufacturing Defects: These occur when a flaw in the vehicle’s construction poses a danger. For instance, a car crash and subsequent fire caused by malfunctioning brakes may stem from an error in their creation or installation.

2. Design Defects: In some cases, entire product lines may be deemed unsafe due to inherent design flaws. Unlike manufacturing defects, design flaws originate from the vehicle’s intended build. Examples include faulty ignition switches or dangerous steering and suspension systems.

3. Marketing Defects: Manufacturers’ failure to warn consumers about product risks or provide adequate usage instructions may constitute a marketing defect. Though less common in causing car fires, instances where incorrect owner’s manual information or misleading advertisements contribute to a fire can lead to liability.

4. Breach of Warranty: When a vehicle fails to meet the terms of an express or written warranty, the consumer may have grounds for a defective product claim.

Identifying Negligence as a Cause of Car Fires

Determining the cause of a car fire is pivotal in pursuing compensation for damages. Paul Knopf Bigger recommends bringing in a defective product attorney for a thorough investigation. Faulty electrical systems, overheated engines, and vehicle design flaws are leading causes of car fires due to manufacturer negligence.

Proving Negligence Post-Car Fire

To recover damages after a car fire, you must establish four legal elements:

1. Duty of Care: The defendant must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care, such as a car manufacturer’s obligation to ensure vehicle safety.

2. Violation of Duty: You must prove that the defendant breached this duty. For example, a breach is allowing a defective vehicle to be sold.

3. Causation: The vehicle defect must be linked to the fire that caused harm.

4. Economic Losses: Measurable economic losses from the fire, such as medical bills or lost wages, must be demonstrated.

Seeking Legal Guidance After a Ford Fire

Experiencing a Ford fire can be traumatic, necessitating legal guidance to navigate potential compensation avenues. Consulting with a local product liability attorney familiar with vehicle liability laws can clarify options and facilitate the pursuit of legal action if deemed appropriate.

While vehicle recalls aim to address safety concerns, car fires’ complexities highlight the need for comprehensive legal understanding and advocacy to ensure accountability and justice for affected individuals. Contact the trial attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free case evaluation.