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Volkswagen injury, under-reporting, Chicago personal injury attorneysStill in the midst of handling its diesel emission scandal, Volkswagen is coming under question for another, unrelated problem: the possible under-reporting of U.S. deaths and injuries. Though they would be far from the only auto manufacturers to have done so, a recent study reveals they may be one of the worst offenders, having nine times fewer injuries and deaths than the average manufacturer and half the injuries and deaths as those that have already been cited for failure to comply with reporting regulations. If found to be true, this could mean serious trouble for Volkswagen.

Volkswagen and Reporting Statistics

Fifteen years ago, Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires were blowing out and failing at an unusually high rate, causing numerous rollover accidents. It was not until more than 200 people had died before anyone realized that a defective car parts were causing the accidents. This was when and why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started requiring that auto manufacturers report deaths and injuries that occurred in their vehicles.

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Takata apology, Chicago product liability lawyersThe Takata airbag recall has not gotten better in the months since it started. More vehicles have been added to the recall list and more deaths have been linked to defective Takata airbags. A national recall started in November 2014, but Takata is just now apologizing for the deaths and injuries their defective airbags have caused. Is their apology too late for some consumers and automotive companies though?

An apology and deep bow from Takata’s chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, cannot bring back those who have died to their family members or heal the injuries the defective car part has caused many consumers. With the timeline for fixing all the recalled airbags growing with the increase in cars added to the recall, Fiat Chrysler informed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation it will no longer use Takata inflators in replacement of driver’s side airbags in its cars. It is looking at other alternatives to fix the defective part.

The Senate Committee has been going through all the documents Takata gave them and has released a report stating Takata has stopped performing safety audits. In the report, citing internal emails, the committee wrote that Takata may have been able to prevent this recall if it had proper safety and auditing committees in place to check that the correct protocols were being followed. This neglect on Takata’s part that there was no safety committee in place is troubling.

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Harley Davidson recall, Chicago motorcycle accident liability lawyerMany motorcyclists ride their motorcycles all year, while some only ride during the months of good weather. No matter when they rider take out their motorcycles, they want to know their motorcycle is safe to ride. A recent recall of some Harley-Davidson motorcycles puts some owners at risk. Motorcycle manufacturers have a responsibility to motorcycle owners affected by the recall to ensure the defective motorcycle part gets replaced or fixed so the owner is not in an accident because of the defective part.

The recall includes almost 46,000 motorcycles built between April and October 2014. It affects 13 models built in that time frame. The defect is caused by a chemical reaction in the clutch master cylinder that may cause gas bubbles to form. The gas bubbles can lead to the loss of clutch lift.

This means the plates may not fully engage even if the rider pulls the clutch completely and may cause the affected models clutch to move and cause the motorcycle to go forward while it is in gear and running. This defect has caused over 20 injuries to motorcyclists and their passengers. Motorcycles parked for extended periods of time are more likely to be affected by the defect, but Harley-Davidson stated it may also affect motorcycles that are ridden on a regular basis.

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car recalled, Illinois product liability lawyerIn recent years, the number of cars recalled has increased. The recalls range from small issues, such as a mislabeled sticker or when a durability test found that a spring wears out prematurely, to large recalls, like Takata airbags that can possibly explode and spray shrapnel in the driver’s or passenger’s face, causing serious injury or death. When there is a defect with a vehicle, product, or one part of a vehicle, it is a product liability. The manufacturer is responsible for fixing the defect and compensating the affected parties.

A recall can start one of two ways: the manufacturer initiates the recall voluntarily or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) orders the manufacturer to recall a vehicle. Recalls are initiated when there is a safety related defect in the vehicle or a piece of equipment in the vehicle or when the vehicle or a piece of equipment does not meet federal standards.

Safety defects are defined in the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety as any problem that exists or arises in a vehicle or in equipment in the vehicle that creates a safety problem, exists or arises in a group of vehicles from the same design or manufacturer, or in a piece of equipment in a group of vehicles. The BMW motorcycles and Honda recalls are examples of safety-related recalls. BMW recalled over 40,000 motorcycles due to a defect in the rear wheel flange that can cause the back tire to come off. Honda knew about the Takata airbag defect but did not notify consumers in a timely manner, which resulted in several deaths.

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