Products Liability Cases Involving Gas Tanks in Texas
If you've been injured in a car wreck that involved an exploding gas tank, you might have a products liability claim against the vehicle's manufacturer. As with all consumer products, vehicle manufacturers have a duty to produce and place gas tanks on their vehicles in locations that are safe for ordinary use.
Products liability cases involving gas tanks have typically revolved around two scenarios: where the gas tank or related parts are improperly designed or manufactured and where the vehicle's design calls for the tank to be placed in an area where a collision is more likely to become punctured in an accident and cause an explosion.
As the circumstances surrounding the causes of a defective gas tank are often complex and involve several parties who may have contributed to your injuries, it is important that you retain an experienced products liability attorney as soon as possible to determine who was responsible for causing your injuries. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have more than two decades of experience in representing victims injured by defective products, including defective gas tanks, and pride themselves on their reputation for going the extra mile to ensure that their clients' injuries are adequately represented.
Gas Tanks May be Defective Due to Improper Manufacturer or Use of Inadequate Materials
Gas tank and vehicle manufacturers may be liable in a products liability case where their gas tanks are improperly constructed from inferior or improper materials, or where they are defectively repaired. Were a manufacturer fails to use proper materials in construction or where a repairman or refurbishers uses improper materials to repair a gas tank, the tank is weaker than it should be and is thus more easily punctured. Likewise, when proper materials aren't used gas tanks are often subject to corrosion from salt and road grime, which often leads to a weakened product that might leak or is more easily punctured, resulting in a higher potential of explosion.
It is important to note that the safety concerns for gas tanks aren't only limited to the tanks themselves, but extend also to fuel tank support parts. Take, for example, Ford's recent recall of its 2004 F-150 for a defective fuel tank strap. Ford recalled the defective strap because it was subject to deterioration and had the potential to break and cause the gas tank to fall to the ground and ignite. In analyzing the recall, it's important to note that the smallest gas tank offered on a 2004 F-150 is 26 gallons, and the average weight of a gallon of gas is 6 pounds. Thus, a full gas tank on this vehicle places a load of 156 pounds on a fuel tank's support system, and if not sufficiently supported, may cause the tank to fall, become punctured, and then to ignite.
A Vehicle May be Defectively Designed if its Gas Tank is Placed in a Location Where it May be Easily Punctured
In addition to improper construction or repair, a products liability suit may exist in where the gas tank was defectively placed on the vehicle. Ideally, a vehicle's gas tank should be placed to minimize the chance that it would become punctured in an accident. Thus, most auto manufacturers place their fuel tanks so that they are in front of the rear axle and thus out of the rear crumple zone. However, a few infamous examples, such as the Ford Pinto, Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Towncar, Mercury Grand Marquis, and GM pickups on the C/K frame elected to place their gas tanks either behind the rear axle in a crumple zone, or on the side of the vehicle where it was prone to explode after being punctured in a side collision.
Millions of these vehicles are still on the road today, and their manufacturers have failed to take adequate measures to reduce their risk, electing instead to engage in litigation when accidents involving improperly placed gas tanks cause irreparable injuries. Poor gas tank placement in these vehicles has led to an unacceptable risk so that they are defective under products liability law solely by their design.
You Need a Tough and Experienced Dallas Products Liability Attorney if You've Been Injured in Texas by a Defectively Designed or Manufactured Car Accident
If you've been injured in a car accident involving a defectively manufactured or placed gas tank, you may be able to assert a products liability cause of action against the vehicle's manufacturer or a party that has negligently repaired the vehicle or the gas tank. Asserting a lawsuit against these large corporate defendants by yourself or with assistance of inexperienced counsel may severely limit or preclude recovery for your injuries altogether as the opposition is likely to have assembled a large legal team whose only purpose is to limit claims like yours. Moreover, determining if a product has been defectively designed or manufactured often requires the assistance of experts and analysis of their opinions, of which an experienced products liability attorney is needed. Fortunately, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have developed a unique combination of skill and experience in representing people injured in car accidents, including those involving defective gas tanks, and are available any time, day or night, to provide a free consultation regarding injuries suffered by you and other occupants of the vehicle at (855) 326-0000.