Monday, April 6, 2015

$150 million jury verdict against Jeep for death caused by fuel tank fire

About ten years ago, I remember reading that Jeep Liberty SUVs had the gas tank closer to the ground than any car on the market.  I don't know if it was true, but I remember the story because we (my wife and I) owned one at the time!  More recently, back in July of last year I reported that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that Chrysler dragged its feet in issuing a Jeep recall that ultimately impacted 2.5 million vehicles, and was taking too long to make repairs necessary prevent gas tanks from exploding. Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty model SUVs were linked to at least 51 fiery crashes over the past three years. (See here.)

I am recalling these stories today because AboutLawsuits is reporting that a Georgia jury has awarded $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed when a Jeep Grand Cherokee burst into flames after an auto accident. The child died in March 2012 when the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee he was riding in was rear-ended, causing the fuel tank to leak and then catch on fire. The boy’s death is one of at least 75 fatalities linked to Jeep fuel tank fires.  Go here for the full story.  The New York Times also has the story here.

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