Product Liability 1282 articles

How much is your life worth?

So how much do you think your life is worth? $100M? $20M? $420? According to a 1973 General Motors memo, the value of your life is $200,000. Evidently, GM saved over $250M by letting a few hundred people burn to death in their cars. For nearly 30 years, automobile manufacturers have skirted the issue of fundamental design flaws that make cars prone to catch fire when involved in a crash. Engineers know how to relocate fuel tanks to make them less likely to leak or suffer punctures, but manufacturers have never been held responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe. ... Read More

Prius presents potential dangers

A recent report by, a web site that provides information including consumer news, recalls, and scam alerts, warns motorists of several dangerous problems associated with the popular Toyota Prius hybrid automobile that could result in serious injury. The most dangerous complaints submitted to the watchdog web site about the vehicle include unintended acceleration, poor or non-existent traction control, and unusual tire wear. A man in Colorado reported an incident of unintended acceleration when his wife was at the wheel of their new Prius, which resulted in a totaled car and injuries. He says his wife noticed that the car ... Read More

Deadly crash spurs tire valve recall

A deadly rollover auto crash in Florida prompted a federal investigation and recall of 6 million tire valve stems after investigators alleged the accident was caused by a cracked stem, according to a report published in Lawyers USA. The recalled product was manufactured in China by Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corp. between July 2006 and November 2006. There could be as many as 36 million of the potentially defective stems currently in use on a variety of automobiles. The investigation revealing the valve stem defects resulted from a lawsuit filed by the widow of Robert Monk, of Orlando, Fla., who was ... Read More

Family 4th marred by rollover

I recently came across a blog post from a family in Utah. All set to enjoy a long weekend at a mountain cabin, their plans came to an abrupt halt when a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident resulted in a trip to the emergency room. It actually could have been worse. An uncle loaded a few of his nieces and their friends onto the Rhino and thrilled the girls by doing “doughnuts.” However, the Rhino rolled over, throwing the girls and pinning the uncle underneath. Fortunately, the girls were not hurt, but Uncle D ended up with a compound fracture in ... Read More

New York boy saves father in rollover

An 11-year-old boy in New York state was honored recently for his heroic action in a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident, which Keesville Volunteer Fire Department personnel credit with saving his father’s life. The boy, Ryan Mills, pulled his dad, Albert, from under the 2,000-pound recreational vehicle. The Rhino flipped during a turn and pinned the man’s leg underneath, badly crushing it. The boy then ran for home, drove a large pickup truck back to the accident scene and drove his father home, where emergency personnel were able to reach him. Ryan was only 10 years old at the time of ... Read More

Honeywell under fire

Honeywell International, Inc. is under fire from the U.S. Justice Department for manufacturing defective material used in bulletproof vests used by the country’s law enforcement and military personnel. The Associated Press reports the material, Zylon Shield, degrades quickly over time, especially in hot and humid conditions, making vests in which it is used less effective or unsafe. The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Honeywell, saying the company had scientific data that showed Zylon Shield would not hold up long term, and sold the product to the vest manufacturer, Armor Holdings, Inc., anyway, the AP reports. The suit has ... Read More

Roof crush hearing June 4

A Senate hearing on roof crush strength and related driver and passenger safety in vehicle rollover accidents is set for Wednesday, June 4, from 10-11:30 a.m. ET in room 253, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Sen. Mark Pryor, chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Automotive Safety, called for the hearing after meeting with representatives from non-profit citizen action group People Safe In Rollovers Foundation. The group was founded by Paula Lawlor, a crusader for safer made cars. The organization is working hand-in-hand on this project with Kevin Moody, whose son Tyler was killed in a vehicle rollover accident ... Read More

Unreasonably Dangerous

A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against Yamaha USA, Yamaha Manufacturing, and Yamaha Motor, saying the Rhino ATV is unreasonably dangerous, according to a report in the Southeast Texas Record. Ryan Rogers was injured while riding in a Yamaha Rhino on relatively flat ground when the ATV rolled toward the passenger side, the Record reports. According to the paper, the suit alleges the ATV was “in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous” and “not fit for its intended use and reasonably foreseeable purposes.” Causes of actions filed against the defendants include strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. The report ... Read More

ATVs claim 2

A report in the Appalachian News-Express, which serves Eastern Kentucky, reported ATV accidents claimed two lives over the Memorial Day weekend. The newspaper said the death of a 12-year-old girl, Sarah Elizabeth Colley, and a 17-year-old girl, Brianna Castle, died in unrelated ATV accidents. The paper says the Kentucky State Police report indicates Colley was riding with a 13-year-old boy on a 2008 Yamaha Rhino ATV along railroad tracks. The statement said the ATV got stuck in the gravel on the railroad tracks and Colley and the boy were trying to free the vehicle when it went into a nearby ... Read More

Don’t Drive and Dial

Today, Occupational Health & Safety magazine published the results of a report from Experimental Psychology magazine, which examines why language – talking and listening, even or especially on a cell phone – may interfere with visual tasks like driving. Two different experiments, conducted by Dr. Amit Almor, a psychology researcher at the University of South Carolina, found that planning to speak and speaking put far more demands on the brain’s resources than listening. “We measured their attention level and found that subjects were four times more distracted while preparing to speak or speaking than when they were listening,” said Almor ... Read More