Federal regulators recently fined Ford Motor Company for failing to promptly recall defective vehicles last year. Ford will pay a $17.35 million fine in connection with the 2012 recall of over 423,000 Escape sport utility vehicles.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the recall centered on Ford Escapes and Mazda Tributes which had potentially dangerous throttles. Federal authorities say that the throttles in these vehicles could stick and cause unintended acceleration.
The throttle defect has been linked to at least one consumer death and nine injuries.
"This is very significant," one auto industry expert said of the fine. "What it says is that you don't mess around with NHTSA."
"We are absolutely committed to addressing potential vehicle issues and responding quickly for our customers," Ford said in a statement. "We take the safety of our customers seriously and continuously evaluate our processes for improvements. While we are confident in our current processes for quickly identifying and addressing potential vehicle issues, Ford agreed to this settlement to avoid a lengthy dispute with the government."
Unintended acceleration issues have plagued other car manufacturers as well. In 2009, a family from suburban San Diego was killed when their Toyota Lexus accelerated out of control. The dramatic 911 call placed by the family grabbed international headlines and sparked a recall of 2.3 million Toyota vehicles.
The California Law Firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger handles cases involving car fires and other injuries caused by manufacturer defects. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective vehicle, contact our firm to learn more about your legal options.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Ford fined $17.35 million by federal regulators for slow recall," David Undercoffler, Aug. 1, 2013