Earlier this week, a jury awarded $15 million to the parents of two young Santa Cruz women killed in an automobile accident. The women died after their PT Cruiser hit a big rig head on and burst into flames. Enterprise Rent-A-Car owned the PT Cruiser and had rented it to the girls. Although the car was part of a recall to check for power steering fluid leaks linked to car fires, Enterprise Rent-A-Car had not yet serviced the car.
The recall notice had told PT Cruiser owners to contact the dealer for a service appointment, but did not ground the cars.
The car rental agency admitted liability for the accident and stated, “Given all we have learned, today we would ground the recalled PT Cruiser until repaired.”
This year alone hundreds of thousands of cars have been recalled, including the massive Toyota recall for accelerator defects, as well as a recall of Honda minivans for breaking problems and power steering issues in thousands of Ford vehicles.
Too often these recalls happen after serious accidents and deaths occur. And in tragic cases such as the Santa Cruz accidents, the recall is not sufficiently urgent. If a car is dangerous due to a defect, it should be taken off the road immediately. Car manufacturers and car rental companies must due more to protect consumers who rely on their cars as a safe mode of transportation.
If your vehicle has been subject to a recall, I urge you to contact your automobile dealer to correct the defect immediately. For more information, or if you or a loved one has been in an automobile accident that may have been caused by a defective automobile part, please contact Sette Law Office, a California personal injury attorney committed to helping the injured for more than 26 years.