A vehicle with a faulty ignition may stall while traveling down the road, causing a potentially hazardous situation for the driver and passengers, as well as nearby persons and vehicles. A steering column containing a faulty ignition switch is susceptible to combustion, quickly igniting the entire vehicle interior.
A few known manufacturers have produced millions of automobiles containing a defective ignition switch and their subsequent hazards. In some instances, companies have elicited vehicle recalls to rectify the problem. Other manufacturers have taken no action, posing a threat of damaged vehicles, occupant injury and possible death.
Ford Ignition Recalls
The Ford Motor Company recalled 8.7 million vehicles in 1996 due to faulty ignitions and combustion concerns. The company instituted the recall following a number of reports involving vehicles manufactured between 1984 to 1993. 23 million automobiles, not including the Taurus and Sable, carried a potential risk of igniting because of defective switches.
Faulty ignition switches required almost 250,000 Canadian vehicles to be recalled by Ford. At that time, the company denied American auto involvement in spite of reports relaying problems and injuries suffered by American Ford vehicle owners. Replacing defective switches cost Ford $100 each. The cost is presumed to be the reason the Ford Motor Company balks at issuing recalls. In the last decade, Ford has been accused of putting corporate profit over consumer safety with relevance to faulty ignitions and other vehicle defects.
Other Manufacturer Recalls
Faulty ignition switches plagued certain Honda and Acura models in China during 2002. There was apprehension that the defect would cause vehicles to stall. Beijing recalled and repaired thousands of vehicles in China. Experts suggested that 1.34 million American owned Honda vehicles were also affected. In 2003, Honda agreed and recalled vehicles manufactured between 1997 and 2000. Specific models of the Accord, Civic, CRV, Odyssey and Prelude were included in the recall in addition to certain 1997 through 1999 models of the Acura CL coupes and TL sedans.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has received numerous complaints regarding vehicles manufactured by other companies containing defective ignition switches. The defect is denied by auto manufacturers in an attempt to protect profits, but at a cost of endangering American consumers. When a moving vehicle stalls, it continues the path of motion, enabling the potential for collision with other vehicles, persons or objects. A vehicle whose steering column ignites secondary to a faulty ignition switch, risks the lives of all occupants.
Persons or family members suffering damages as a result of a defective ignition switch should contact a trained and experienced attorney. A qualified attorney will evaluate the case to determine options and legal rights.