Almost everyone remembers the infamous Ford Pinto. The Pinto had a fuel tank mounted behind the rear axle. This position allowed for dangerous, and often explosive, consequences in rear impact accidents. Similarly, there are vehicles with gas tanks mounted on the sides of the vehicle outside the structure of the frame. These “sidesaddle” tanks also leave the vehicle vulnerable to impact in a collision. The overall safest positioning of a gas tank is between the front and rear axles of the vehicle. However, manufacturers didn’t always follow this guideline and many vehicles do not provide the proper structural protection for the tank. Collisions with these vehicles can lead to fuel-fed fires.
Also, it is not always the location of the fuel tanks that can lead to fuel-fed fires. Design defects related to fuel-fed fires can involve several different vehicle systems. The design issues can relate to issues of fuel filler cap design, fuel line design, fuel tank design, and also include fuel pump design. Fuel systems should be designed to maintain their integrity during reasonably foreseeable accidents so that occupants do not lose their lives in otherwise survivable accidents. If the occupants can survive crash forces without serious injury, so should the fuel system.
Our firm currently represents the family of a young man who was severely burned in an accident because of the defective design of the fuel system and gas tank of his 1993 Ford Crown Victoria. In Boykins v. Ford, the fuel system and gas tank failure resulted in the spillage of large amounts of gasoline which immediately ignited and engulfed the passenger compartment of the car in a matter of seconds, including our client’s son. The son died two months later as a result of injuries received during the accident. We allege that Ford knew of the dangers associated with the 1993 Ford Crown Victoria’s defective fuel system and gas tank and had known about them for years prior to this accident.
If you would like more information regarding fuel-fed fire cases, please contact Rick Morrison or Labarron Boone at 800-898-2034 or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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