A new Top 15 auto safety watch list puts the 2012 Ford Focus at number one based on dozens of reported injuries in which drivers cited problems with the car’s steering. The early warning list of incident trends was created by safety experts working with Lance Cooper, the Atlanta lawyer who discovered the GM ignition defect that federal experts failed to realize from their own accident data until a large number of people died and others were injured. “They failed the public and they need help,” Lance told ABC News in a report that aired on June 24 on “Good Morning America.”
Lance correctly pointed out that investigators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regularly fail to spot safety trends in the accident and complaint data they collect, citing the scandals involving Firestone tires, runaway Toyotas and now the GM ignition problem. Lance stated further:
It’s in their database but for whatever reason they’re not acquiring it in a way that allows them to determine that there are, in fact, defect trends that they need to investigate and make others aware of.
In the case of the 2012 Ford Focus, the country’s best-selling car, analysts working for Lance have examined some 45 reports involving accident injuries. The report noted that “there is no certainty” that any of the vehicles on the list had a safety-related defect, but said the unusual number of complaints warranted investigation. Sean Kane, whose non-profit The Safety Institute was hired to prepare the list, had this to say:
These are issues that are trending that are outside of the ordinary that need to be examined.
In addition to the accident reports the manufacturers turn over, other complaints filed directly with NHTSA reported complete loss of steering control. “I almost side-swiped cars in other lanes trying to maintain control,” wrote one Focus owner from Florida. “I had to hold on for dear life trying to keep it in the lane,” wrote another owner in Oregon. Ford would not directly address the questions raised about the Ford Focus steering issues.
The new Top 15 safety trend list has the support of Ken and Beth Melton, whose daughter Brooke was killed in an accident caused by the GM ignition defect. Mr. and Mrs. Melton are dedicated to making sure that the safety culture at GM is really changed and that the public is protected from cars allowed to be on the nation’s highways with defects known to the automakers. Beth Melton told ABC News:
At some point, NHTSA knew about it from General Motors that there was a car stalling and they didn’t make it right. There were all these opportunities that came up and she died and she didn’t need to die.
Ken Melton said he was “livid” when he realized the failure of NHTSA to spot the problem earlier and he added:
The only way I know to overcome the pain and make the pain less is to do something positive like this and try to strive for doing something positive for someone else.
If you need further information on any of the above contact Lance Cooper 800-317-2021 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lance is the lawyer in this country who knows more about GM’s defective ignition switch than anybody. Also, Lance is just as dedicated to the cause of exposing GM and protecting the public as Mr. and Mrs. Melton and he has shown that dedication constantly since Brooke Melton was tragically killed. We are honored to be joined with Lance in the Melton case and in other GM litigation.
Source: ABC News
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