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Auto Transmission Safety Defects

Auto Transmission Safety Defects : Park to Reverse Safety Defects Cause Horrific Accidents

The unintentional reverse movement of a vehicle from a parked transmission gear placement to a reverse gear, is a legal product’s liability case. Often these cases involve transmission gear problems that are either a design or manufacture defect. Car safety standards now require the brake pedal be engaged before the transmission will unlock. Often, these malfunction allowing the gear change that should not happen. Minor children can inadvertently hit a gear shift causing the vehicle to roll back. Injuries come from occupants to persons in the path of a 4,000 lb. vehicle.

These cases are referred to as: Park to reverse, roll backwards, lurched backwards, roll back, rolled back, rearward runaway, accidental shift, shift alone, shift suddenly, shift into reverse, shift out of park, switch gears, went into reverse, unintentional rearward movement, unintended rearward movement, unintentional reverse, unintended reverse, unintentional acceleration, unintended acceleration, powered reverse, failure to hold in park, slipped gear, inadvertent movement, inadvertent rearward movement, jumped into reverse, kicked into reverse, slipped into reverse, change gear, changed gear, back over, backed over, etc., type cases.

The following vehicles have been proven to have these issues:

1988 1988 - 2003 Dodge Dakotas

1989 1989- 1988 2006 Dodge Rams

1993- 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees

Other Ford rear-wheel drive vehicles including the CrownVictoria / Grand Marquis, Ford F-150, 250 and 350 pick-ups, Ford SUVs such as the Explorer, and other Ford vehicles with substantially similar transmissions such as the Econoline. Certain Ford front-wheel drive vehicles such as the Ford Aerostar minivan.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) opened an investigation into this "park-to-reverse" issue in Dodge Ram pickup trucks on April 13, 2004. It upgraded its investigation on August 24, 2004. On October 4, 2005 DaimlerChrysler Corporation announced it was conducting a "Product Improvement Action" to recall its 2003-2005 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups equipped with diesel engines and automatic transmissions to resolve the "park-to-reverse" issue and other concerns related to this inadvertent rearward movement in these pickup trucks. This recall was subject of an Engineering Analysis conducted by the Office of Defects Investigation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At the time that DaimlerChrysler Corporation announced this recall it was aware of 223 reports of such "park-to-reverse" incidents. These incidents included 202 crashes, 21 injuries, and 2 deaths. The recalled Dodge Ram pickup trucks will receive a software modification to equip them with an out-of-park alarm. Approximately 250,000 pickup trucks are affected by this recall.

Benson & Bingham represents a three year old minor child who was run over by a false reverse accident causing brain damage and multiple skull fractures. The subject vehicle was a Ford Explorer. Call our hotline today if you need immediate help: PHONE 702-382-9797

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