Scott Starr, of the Indiana law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, announced today that the firm is investigating potential products liability claims related to a recall of the 2013 Ford Escape for those vehicles containing a 1.6 liter engine.
The Ford Escape has a new redesign for the model year 2013, and had only recently begun production of the new model at the Louisville, Kentucky Ford plant. While trying to launch this new version of the compact SUV, Ford announced a recall of approximately 11,500 vehicles manufactured between early April through July 11, 2012 all of which have a 1.6 liter engine. The vehicles with other engine sizes have not been effected by the recall. [Source: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120719/BUSINESS/307190044/Ford-Escape-recalled-again-engines-can-catch-fire]
The reported problem leading to the recall is a fuel line, which Ford has stated may have been scratched or scored, which may cause it to leak and result in a fire. [Source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/story/2012-07-19/Ford-Escape-SUV-recall-test-drive-ban/56345588/1] Based on the information currently provided by the Courier Journal, the home town newspaper where the Escape is being manufactured, this appears to be a manufacturing defect not from Ford, but from its unnamed supplier for this part. Ford has blamed the problem on a fuel line that it received in damaged condition, and made clear it is not a problem caused by its own manufacturing process. [Source: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120719/BUSINESS/307190044/Ford-Escape-recalled-again-engines-can-catch-fire]
Starr, who is a partner in the firm, has stated, “Whether this is a manufacturing or a design defect, either can be of great seriousness to the public when fuel in the engine of a fire leaks and catches fire. Under prevailing federal and state laws if a manufacturing defect is found not only could Ford be found liable for any and all damages, but also all suppliers down the chain who were involved in supplying the defective part may also be liable, perhaps jointly and severally.”
At this time only three fires have been reported, two of which were at the factory, and none involved injuries. [Source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/story/2012-07-19/Ford-Escape-SUV-recall-test-drive-ban/56345588/1] However, if your new 2013 Ford Escape has caught fire, or you have been injured because of such a fire, you may be able to seek legal recourse in the form of a product liability lawsuit. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who also has experience with automobile products liability who can help you understand your options.
Scott L. Starr
Starr Austen & Miller, LLP
201 S 3rd Street
Logansport, Indiana 46947-3102