Thousands of persons are injured or killed each year by defective products. A product is anything from a toy to an automobile. Each and every one of us uses various products on a daily basis, from cars to VCRs. Each of us faces the potential of unknown danger crated by products each and every day. May products are safely designed and manufactured. However, a product is defective when it is unreasonably dangerous or if it does not meet reasonable expectation of the consumer. An example of when a product does not meet a consumer’s expectation is when a consumer buys a brand new Firestone tire and the tire explodes while driving on the highway. When a tire fails, the driver of the vehicle may lose control. If a vehicle goes out of control and rolls over, serious injury or death is likely. Does anyone expect a brand new tire, or a normally used tire to explode?
In order to prevent dangerous products from reaching consumers, manufacturers should test products to determine all of the potential hazards. If hazards are determined during testing, manufacturers are to design out those hazards. If the hazards cannot be designed out, they should be guarded against. If they cannot be guarded against, they should be adequately warned.
Nonetheless, defective products are sold by manufacturers every day to consumers for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, sometimes the reason is as simple as economics. For example, the gas tank explosion with the Pinto. The manufacturer of the Pinto decided that it would be cheaper to pay off lawsuits and defend its product over paying the increased costs of repairing the defect. As a result, many consumers were senselessly burned to death and/or seriously injured in fires.
There are a number of products that consumers should be aware of that are unsafe or that have been recalled.
1. JDC seat belt bucks found on GM’s vehicles and other manufactured vehicles.
2. Takata seat belts found in the Geo Metro and other GM vehicles.
3. Ranges/Stoves without anti tipping devices. There have been a number of infants’ deaths due to a stove tipping over on them causing them to suffocate or burned by whatever was on the stove.
4. DaimlerChrysler recalled the 2002 Town and Country and the Grand Caravan because of possible fuel leaks that could result in underbody fire.
5. General Motors has recalled 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer and Envoy because of potential missing welds that could degrade the performance of the seat belt system.
6. Volkswagen has recalled 2003 Audi 6 because of potential problems with the airbags.
7. Ford has recalled 2000 and 2001 Ford Focus because of a bolt in the front suspension assembly that could cause separation of the ball joint.
8. DaimlerChrysler has recalled the Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, and the Grand Voyager because of a potential problem with the airbag system. A number of consumers have reported that the airbag did not deploy during a crash.
9. Ford recalled the 1992 Crown Victoria because of potential fuel leakage in the fuel tank and crashes. Firestone recalled certain Firestone tires.
10. 4Runners 1996 and 1997 models have been recalled because of handling and stability problems.
11. 2001 Chrysler PT2 Cruiser has been recalled because of potential fuel leakage that could cause a fire.
This is only a small list of the thousands of defective products that unfortunately make it into the unsuspecting public’s hands.