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Responsibility

Toyota admits that its black-box recorder readers have a software error that can cause wrong speed readings.

SUV’s have warnings that state avoid sudden turns, but don’t define what that is or how you are to avoid them if someone pulls out in front of you, or if a child runs out in front of your car.

Child safety seats were found to be incorrectly installed 75% of the time by NHTSA in 2009.

What do all these have in common? The manufacturers know of a defect or problem, but rather than fix the problem and save lives they continue to try and blame the driver and parent.

The buzzwords “personal responsibility” is something that manufacturers love to throw out when they are discussing a case. The driver needs to take responsibility. The parent needs to take responsibility.

I have an idea. How about the manufacturers start taking responsibility and fix the problems instead of spending millions of dollars on lobbyist, defense attorneys and advertisements in trying to shift the blame. They have known of the problems for years and yet do nothing about them. Stop blaming your customers and look in a mirror. If any other business was having 75% of their customers not using a product correctly they would probably get the hint that they need to change something. The problem for drivers and parents is that the manufacturers are able to blame them because a jury generally only sees that one case, and not the hundreds or thousands of other claims or lawsuits regarding the same issue filed across the country. The manufacturers can imply this was just a freak accident or this one driver just failed to handle the situation. In those rare instances in which the Courts allow the jury to know about the other incidents the juries usually award significant damages. Does the manufacturer admit they did something wrong and vow to correct the problem and apologize to the family? Do they thank the plaintiffs and jury for helping them become aware of a dangerous defect which is maiming and killing people? No. They generally talk about how the jury was misguided and they how they will appeal this miscarriage of justice. Here’s a solution. Take some responsibility, fix the problem, save the families from having to deal with the sorrow of their children, parents and other family members being injured or killed because you choose to ignore a problem.

Thanks to my brilliant partner for the idea for this blog topic.

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