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Ford may face product liability lawsuits

In times of economic recession, many Texas readers might assert that it is more important than ever to support American industries and products. Yet many consumers may be surprised to discover just how many products in their household were not made in the United States.

In fact, many foreign-made products no longer have a domestically manufactured counterpart. In the past few decades, manufacturing sector jobs have steadily declined. One source estimates that 66 percent of manufacturing jobs have been lost since the late 1960s. Today, only nine percent of jobs in the United States are in manufacturing.

Given that decline, it might be upsetting for readers to learn about American-made products that have been discovered to be defective or pose a danger. Yet all corporations and manufacturers, both at home and abroad, have a duty to produce safe products. A company's failure to comply with applicable safety standards can amount to negligence under the law, exposing the company to a product liability lawsuit.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently launched an investigation of Ford cars and SUVs from the 2009 through 2011 model years. The NHTSA reports that there have been complaints of stalling or surging engines in certain models. The agency will be investigating two SUV models, the Ford Escape and the Mercury Mariner, as well as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans. The problem may affect as many as 725,000 vehicles.

To date, none of the models has been recalled. However, the NHTSA and Ford have received almost 1,500 complaints from drivers. There also have been three crashes, and at least one injury resulting from the alleged problem. For consumers that are injured by defective products, an attorney can help prepare compelling evidence that may result in a recovery.

Source: The Associated Press, "Feds to probe Ford cars and SUVs for stalling," Thom Krisher, Feb. 25, 2013

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