Do you own a Ford Fusion, or have you been thinking about purchasing a used Ford Fusion? Anyone in California who is currently in possession of a Ford Fusion or has considering buying one of these vehicles used should pay close attention to a recent product recall. According to a recent article in USA Today, “several dozen Ford Fusion owners complained in recent months that their steering wheels had some loose or had come off completely while driving.” After receiving numerous reports of this serious safety defects, Ford issued a large-scale recall impacting at least 1.4 million Fusion models and Lincoln MKZ Sedans. What else should you know about the recall and the dangers posed by auto product defects?
Loose Steering Wheels Could Cause Serious and Fatal Car Accidents
To be clear, 1.4 million vehicles are subject to a safety recall because their steering wheels either can become loose while a person is behind the wheel, or the steering wheel can fall off entirely while a person is driving. According to Ford, the cause of the problem is “potentially loose steering wheel bolts” which can “result in a steering wheel detaching from the steering column.” Ford indicated that, as far as the company knows, two accidents have occurred thus far, and at least one injury has happened.
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that problems with Ford steering wheels are wider spread. The NHTSA complaint database for auto safety defects “reveals more than 45 independent report of problems in the last few years.” Owners of Ford Fusions have submitted numerous complaints to the automaker about the dangerous steering wheel defect. The following are some quotes from consumer complaints:
- “While driving on the interstate, steering wheel came loose and car veered off interstate”;
- “My 2014 Ford Fusion steering wheel became unstable and I drifted into a manhole in the street . . . and totaled my car”;
- “While entering the vehicle, knee bumped the steering wheel and the steering wheel became detached”;
- “While driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel detached from the steering column”;
- “My steering wheel has become very loose and feels like it’s going to fall off”;
- “I was driving in a parking lot . . . and the steering wheel came so loose that it almost came right off”; and
- “The steering became a little wobbly over the past two weeks . . . . I went to turn in gas station and the steering wheel fell off in my lap.”
Filing a Product Defect Lawsuit in California
If you get hurt as a result of a defective product, what do you need to prove in order to win a product liability lawsuit in California? The California Civil Jury Instructions explain that product liability claims are brought under a theory of strict liability, and the plaintiff must prove the following:
- Plaintiff was harmed by a product distributed, manufactured, or sold by the defendant; and
- Product contained a manufacturing defect or was defectively designed or did not include sufficient instruction or a warning of potential safety hazards.
Contact a San Clemente Product Defect Attorney
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(image courtesy of Kalu Ci)