The Weaver Law Firm

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Ford trucks that go from park to reverse?

Do Ford trucks go from park to reverse unintentionally causing a truck accident? Vehicle manufacturers know of the need to design its automatic transmission system so that an operator cannot or should not leave the vehicle in "illusory park". Automobile defects are not new to Texans or the people of the United States. Look at what happened to GM. It recently had an ignition switch recall to 2.6 million cars. Unfortunately it took the death on people for the recall. What about Ford Motor Company? What is it going to do to correct its product defect that leads to serious and almost deadly injuries?

Did you know that notice to vehicle manufacturers of the need to avoid a park-to-reverse defect included: (1) Numerous park-to-reverse incidents on various vehicles in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's about which a certain manufacturer received notice of through customer complaints; these included hundreds of complaints on a wide range of models equipped with same or substantially similar transmissions; and that (2) FORD investigated the park-to-reverse safety issue in the early 1970's. It was, at that time, the third highest volume safety complaint being logged in Customer Relations Potential problem reports?

In February 1980, Ford reported knowledge of 2,252 accidents, 1,818 property damage, 703 injuries and 42 fatalities involving vehicles where inadvertent rearward movement was involved. FORD also reported at least 361 lawsuits involving allegations of inadvertent rearward movement.

Did you know that a 1985 NHTSA study found that Ford park-to-reverse accidents had caused a total of at least 306 deaths.

Ford could have also easily installed an out-of-park alarm to warn drivers when the vehicle was in false park.

What is a "park-to-reverse" defect? It is a defect that can exist in a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission when there is inadequate mechanical force  provided by the automatic transmission system to ensure that a vehicle always defaults into an intended gear position (such as park or reverse) when an operator does not fully shift into that intended gear position. In these situations, a driver can inadvertently and unintentionally place the shift selector between the intended park and reverse gear positions. Since there is a delay (sometimes a very short delay like seconds or one or two minutes) in the engagement of reverse gear when an operator places the vehicle into what, from the vehicle's "cues," the operator would reasonably believe to be park. In these situations, the driver may exist the vehicle believing the vehicle to be in when the truck suddenly and unexpectedly moves backwards in powered reverse, running over the driver.

We expect that in these situations, Ford would try to blame the driver and claim that the driver left the vehicle in reverse, but that is not the case when the defect exists, when the defect is real.

            - Article By Richard Weaver, Texas Lawyer and personal injury attorney.

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