Mercedes-Benz USA has announced a recall for almost 30,000 vehicles because a correctly latched seatbelt can mistakenly be identified as unlatched. When this happens, both visual and audible alerts will activate to let occupants in the vehicle know there is a seatbelt not fastened. The concern is that this issue can lead to other systems in the vehicle to malfunction if there is a crash, leading to serious injuries for people in the vehicle.
When the vehicle manufacturer began receiving consumer complaints about the issue, they investigated and found that the issue is caused by the geometry of the seatbelt buckle. This manufacturing defect causes a properly latched belt to be detected as not being correctly latched. Because of this, the seatbelt pre-tensioners that lock the belt in place when there is a crash may not be activated. When the company investigated further, they found that a supplier was using a tool that had excessive wear to create the buckle and this is what was causing the problem.
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The recall is scheduled to begin December 31, with the company saying they will notify vehicle owners by mail. Owners will be directed to bring their vehicles to a dealer in order to get the buckles inspected and replace free of charge.
Defective Auto Liability
Vehicle manufacturers have a legal responsibility to make sure the products they produce are safe. When a person suffers an injury due to a defective injury, they are legally entitled to file a product liability lawsuit against the automaker or the company that manufactured the defective part. Victims can pursue damages for medical expenses, loss of income and benefits, pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and more.
If the victim dies as a result of their injury, their family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer. Survivors can be awarded damages for funeral and burial expenses, loss of future income, and loss of love and companionship.
Contact a North Carolina Product Defect Attorney
Consumers can check to see if the vehicle they own has any open recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that occurred because of a defective in the design or manufacturing of the vehicle, call Shapiro & Appleton to meet with a North Carolina defective product attorney to find out what legal options you may have and what kind of financial compensation you may be entitled to. If your loved one died from their injuries, our legal team can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible. Our firm also offers a free downloadable guide about filing a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit.
Call our office today at 800-752-0042 to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help.