Could Seat Back Failure be Putting Your Child in Danger?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on May 06, 2016 in Product Injury
Thought to be a safe spot for children when riding in a car, truck, or van, placing your kids in the back seat of your vehicle could actually be putting them in harm’s way. Seat back failure has been linked to the deaths of 100 children in the U.S., and has caused numerous serious injuries to both children and adults riding in the back seat.
A CBS News investigation found that 17 children have died from seat back failure in the past 15 years.
Recently, a jury in Texas ordered automaker Audi to pay $124.5 million to the family of a young victim of seat back failure. The family’s Audi sedan was involved in a rear-end accident; the driver’s seat broke, hitting the 7-year-old boy in the back seat, causing severe injuries that will require life-long care.
What is Seat Back Failure?
Seat back failure occurs when the backs of a vehicle’s front seat, driver or passenger, breaks off in an accident. The force of an accident can hurl the seat parts into the rear passenger compartment of the vehicle, striking children and even delivering fatal blows.
According to internal documents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as automobile manufacturers have known of this danger for years. Experts say reinforcing front seats would improve safety; this fix would only cost manufacturers a few dollars more.
In the Texas case against Audi, the manufacturer maintained that their seats exceeded safety standards. Currently, the seat back safety test involves using a wench to force the seats backwards. Many are calling these standards archaic and are demanding they be improved.
If your child was injured or killed due to a blow caused by seat back failure, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced product liability attorneys at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak will work to pursue your family’s best interests in the midst of tragedy.