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2013 and 2014 are the years of the motor vehicle defect

Calendar years 2013 and 2014 could be called the years of the auto recall. After 13 deaths blamed on fatal defects in General Motors automobiles, GM and other automobile manufacturing giants have become more proactive about reporting defects and issuing recalls. Indeed, millions of cars have been subjected to recalls for a motor vehicle defect following these fatal incidents. These most recent recalls (affecting hundreds of thousands of cars in Brooklyn and elsewhere in the nation) were announced by Chrysler and Ford on May 9.

These recalls involve electric window systems, airbag deployment systems and door latches. Ford's recalls specifically relate to its C-Max cars and Escape cars. Approximately 750,000 Escape models manufactured in the last two years have problems with their airbag computer system.

If the affected vehicle flips or rolls over, the airbag could fail to deploy. Fortunately, the problem is fixable, and drivers are being asked to bring the cars to a dealer to correct the defect. The other Ford problem relates specifically to Escapes, many of which have a door latch issue that could cause the doors to swing open unexpectedly.

The Chrysler recall relates to the electrical switches that control the windows of certain minivans. Chrysler claims that 36 incidents of window overheating have thus far been reported and that the incidents are more likely to happen when the window switch is exposed to moisture. Fortunately, no accidents, injuries or deaths have been blamed on any of these most recent recall issues.

Even though no injuries or deaths have thus far been attributed to these recalls, it does not mean that none have occurred. Indeed, it is important for American consumers to be aware of any potentially fatal motor vehicle defect. This way, they can take steps to protect themselves, particularly in the event of an accident causing injury and/or death. In certain Brooklyn cases, even if a motor vehicle defect did not directly cause a car accident, the defect may have otherwise contributed to a motor vehicle crash and any injuries or death that resulted. In such cases, plaintiffs might choose to name multiple defendants -- the auto manufacturer and others in the supply chain, as well as the driver and/or car owner deemed responsible for causing the crash.

Source: CNN Money, "Ford, Chrysler each announce large recalls", Katie Lobosco, May 9, 2014