May 20, 2011

Automakers investigate potential fuel leaks

Honda Motor Company announced this week that it's recalling more than 1,000 Honda Civics in the U.S. because the cars could leak fuel. Many of these 2012 models have not been sold yet, so the repairs will take place while still on the dealer lots. However, Honda will begin to notify customers on May 27, and owners can check the Honda website to determine if their car is affected.

This news comes on the heels of a report that U.S. safety regulators are investigating a fuel tank problem that could affect more than 2.7 million Ford F-150 trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the steel straps holding up the gas tank can rust and break, creating the potential for a fuel spill and fire. Owners of 1997 through 2001 Ford F-150 pickups should contact their dealer for more information. No injuries have so far been reported.

Fuel leaks and defects related to the fuel distribution system can lead to vehicle fires and have the potential to cause serious injuries. As a Chicago product liability attorney, I recommend that consumers adhere to all product recall warnings, both to prevent injury and to ensure complete economic recovery should an injury occur.

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October 13, 2008

Increase in fuel prices may contribute to more truck accidents on Illinois roads

Increase in fuel prices may contribute to more truck accidents on Illinois roads. That's the conclusion many trucking experts have come to as a result of the large increase in gas prices. They say that trucking companies are forced to make up for the gas price increase in operating costs and due to the rise in fuel prices, truck drivers and trucking companies are left with three options: pass the cost down to their customers, make up for the increase in costs by driving more hours-- or some combination of the two.

Earlier this spring, the American Trucking Association's (ATA) State Vice President Mike Card provided testimony to the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit where he said that many trucking companies are going out of business or barely surviving. Mr. Card testified that the poor economy and a decrease in demand for freight transportation were also contributing factors. However, he made it clear that the high price of diesel was the driving force behind the struggles of most trucking companies.

In attempt to keep roads safe, federal laws have been put in place to regulate the amount of time truck drivers spend on the road. Experts fear that the increase in operating expenses due to increased fuel costs will result in more violations of hours of service requirements, which will ultimately lead to an increase in truck accidents due to driver fatigue.

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