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NHTSA Considers Higher Fines for Automakers Who Conceal Safety Defects

By Lipton Law on March 27, 2012 - No comments

Michigan Auto Product SafetySince Toyota faced high fines for concealing information related to safety issues in several of its vehicles in 2010, automakers have been more forward with information related to possible defects and in issuing auto product recalls. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering increasing the maximum fines possible in such cases.

The increase in fines will have to pass through Congress and be signed by the President to go into effect. A bill introduced recently in the Senate would increase the maximum fine to $250 million. Currently, the maximum fine is $17 million per failure to report. Toyota received a total fine of $32 million in 2010 for two separate instances in which lawmakers say the company failed to report safety defects, with deadly consequences.

Supporters of the bill say that increasing the fines would better reflect the size of automakers’ budgets, creating a real deterrent to withholding necessary safety information. They note that, while $17 million does not represent a real hardship for most auto companies to pay, $250 million would. Opponents of the increase, however, say that $17 million is an adequate deterrent, and that raising the amount would put an unnecessary burden on automakers. Opponents also note that, with millions of vehicles on U.S. roads, automakers already face a hefty responsibility to make cars as safe as possible, one that they take seriously.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle part, the experienced Southfield product liability attorneys at Lipton Law can help. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation about your car accident injury. Our number is (248) 557-1688.


NHTSA and Goodyear Announce Tire Recall

By Lipton Law on February 28, 2012 - No comments

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Goodyear Tires recently announced a recall of several different sizes of Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires. All the recalled tires were manufactured between March and May 2009.

Goodyear warns that the tread on the tires can come loose, especially in tough driving conditions like emergency situations and bad roads. Loose tread can damage the vehicle. Worse, it can cause a serious auto accident; a tire that comes apart can easily force a vehicle to swerve, making it far too easy for the vehicle to crash.

The recalled tire sizes are sizes: LT235/80R17 LRE, LT325/60R18 LRE, LT275/70R18 LRE, LT265/70R17 LRE, LT245/75R17 LRE, and LT285/70R17 LRD. Owners of these tires can trade them in for a free replacement set. To find a place to return your tires in your area, call Goodyear toll-free at 1-800-592-3267. Goodyear has states that it expects to begin the recall on or before March 22, and that it plans to contact those tire owners for whom it has information.

At Lipton Law, our knowledgeable Southfield product liability attorneys can help you with every hurdle you face after an accident, from filing a Michigan no-fault insurance claim to holding the makers of a defective vehicle product accountable for their actions. To learn more about your legal rights after a crash and how we can help you protect them, call Lipton Law today at (248) 557-1688. Your initial consultation is free and completely confidential.


CPSC Recalls Several Heating-Related Products

By Lipton Law on January 6, 2012 - No comments

For families in Michigan and elsewhere, winter weather often means turning on the space heater or turning up the thermostat. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued recalls for several different types of space heaters and an electric thermostat. These five products have all malfunctioned in ways that can cause fires or burns to people trying to use them.

  1. Meijer Touch Point Oscillating Ceramic Heaters. These space heaters, sold at Meijer stores in Michigan and other states, may short-circuit, creating a fire hazard.
  2. Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze & Comfort Essentials Heaters. Any of these types of space heaters may overheat, which can lead to fires, smoke output, or burns to people who touch the unit.
  3. Lasko Portable Electric Heaters. A connection in the base of the heater may short-circuit, melting the housing and exposing the electrical components. This can cause electrocution or fires.
  4. Honeywell Electric Baseboard and Fan Heater Thermostats. These thermostats can overheat or short out, causing them to become very hot and possibly burn anyone who touches them.
  5. GE Zoneline Air Conditioners and Heaters. A failure in the electrical system may start a fire.

Detailed descriptions of each of the recalled products and information about what to do if you have one of them is available at the CPSC’s website, cpsc.gov.

When we buy items for our homes, we feel reassured that these products will not cause serious injuries to us or our loved ones – and most of the time, we’re right. But when a manufacturer or seller offers a defective product for sale, its hidden defects can cause serious injuries. If you’ve been injured by a defective product, the experienced Southfield product liability attorneys at Lipton Law can help. For a free consultation, call us today at (248) 557-1688.