If you thought that being injured in an automobile-related accident required you to be hit by another passenger car or large commercial truck, think again. A percentage of all the auto-related personal injuries that take place every year occur when no second vehicle is present, or certainly when no serious collision has happened. With the typical experience of seeing a pair of cars on the shoulder of an expressway or rural route many people can be forgiven when the first thing that comes to mind regarding traffic wrecks is car-to-car collisions. While these may be some of the more common ways in which people are injured or killed in their vehicle, they are not the only ones.
Consider that many people are still hurt by getting their hand caught in a closing car door, or when an individual receives a head wound, such as a deep gash or scalp injury thanks to a week hatchback strut that gives way at an inopportune time. Dozens upon dozens of people — drivers, passengers and bystanders alike — receive severe and sometimes life-threatening first- and second-degree burns when a car, minivan or SUV suddenly catches fire due to a defective component or design flaw. Of course, numerous car fires actually take place following a bad highway collision, but some of these fires actually take place when a vehicle is standing still, maybe not even running.
As Maryland car, truck and motorcycle accident attorneys, we know of instances where innocent victims have been injured or killed as a result of another party’s negligent behavior. In the case of spontaneous car fires, the blame for sudden and unexpected conflagrations can be the result of poorly designed automotive components, or badly maintained or serviced automobile components. Whatever the cause, when negligence is suspected, the victims should consult a qualified personal injury lawyer.
Take for instance the recent news that Honda broke the one million vehicle milestone in regard to recalls involving fire hazards on some of their models. If you or someone you know lives in Maryland or the District of Columbia and has a Honda car named in any of these national recalls, it would be wise to visit your dealer for remediation. However, if you or someone you know has been injured by a car fire in a Honda, or any other manufacturer’s car, truck or SUV, talk to an experienced legal professional to better understand your rights.
Looking at the Honda situation, news reports show that another 573,000 Honda Accord models joined an already expanding list of Honda vehicle recalled for fire-related hazards. Based on those reports, the 2007 Honda Accord V6 is the latest addition, and part of the fourth such recall announcement by the Japanese automaker.
So far, more than a half million V6-equipped Accords from the 2003 to 2007 model years have been named as potential candidates for vehicle fires caused, according to news articles, by a potential power-steering hose leak that can develop due to high engine compartment heat. The company believes that high temperatures can cause the rubber hose carrying hydraulic fluid to degrade and eventually leak. If the fluid comes in contact with a very hot surface, such as the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipes, a fire could result.
Based on news reports, the problem began back in May of this year, when Honda recognized a problem with about 50,000 Acura TLs last spring involving failure of power-steering hoses. With input from its dealer network, Honda expanded its study to include V6-equipped Accords as well, expanding the recall to those half-million vehicles mentioned earlier. Following the latest announcement, Honda reportedly submitted its recall plan to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in late September.
The Honda models so far affected by fire-related problems are:
— 53,000 ’07-’08 Acura TL
— 43,000 ’05-’08 Acura RL
— 573,000 ’03-’08 Accord V6
— 167,000 ’04-’08 Acura TSX sedan
— 273,000 ’04-’08 Acura TL
Total Number of Hondas Recalled for Fire Hazard Reaches 1.1 Million, NYTimes.com, October 2, 2012
Acura Recalls 53,000 TL Sedans for Leaking Power-Steering Hoses, NYTimes.com, May 18, 2012