June 29, 2010

Number of child deaths from hot cars is on rise

As a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, I urge parents to take the following information to heart and not leave their children in hot cars during the summer. This past week, the government decided to join safety groups to warn parents and all adults responsible for children about the extreme dangers of leaving kids in the car during hot summer days. (K. Thomas, AP Washington, 6/25).

Unfortunately, this declaration was in response to surfacing information showing that “deaths of infants and toddlers trapped inside hot vehicles have mounted in recent weeks. A researcher says 18 children have died of hyperthermia since the beginning of the year, eight of them reported since June 13.” Perhaps surprisingly, this recent bout of child fatalities is the largest number of fatalities due to hyperthermia in the first half of a year since the early 1990’s. On average, nearly 40 children perish annually from heat exhaustion in cars.

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June 29, 2010

Lexus Hybrid Recalled Over Fuel Leak in Crash Test

Lexus announced Friday that it was “recalling about 17,000 of its 2010-model HS 250h hybrid sedans, after testing by federal officials found that too much gasoline had leaked in a rear-impact test”. (NY Times, Wheels, C. Jensen, 6/25). Additionally, Lexus has stated that it has instructed dealers to stop selling the cars until the problem is resolved.

In a statement, “Toyota, the parent company of Lexus, said the HS 250h had passed rear-impact tests without a problem. It said it was investigating to find out why the test conducted by federal officials had a different result.”

The rear-impact test is conducted by “hitting the vehicle from behind with a barrier moving at about 50 miles per hour,” and is performed both by the automaker and occasionally the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to spot check the automaker’s results.

As a car and truck accident attorney, I am hopeful that Lexus takes the NHTSA’s results very seriously and remedies the problem quickly.

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