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Texas wrongful death: Acceleration issue causes multiple deaths

Texas residents may be interested in an investigative report about longstanding problems with the Ford Escape. Anyone who has had a family member killed in an accident involving an Escape may have the legal right to file a wrongful death suit against the company. Evidence uncovered in the report shows that complaints were repeatedly filed about the vehicle's acceleration issues.

In 2005, a woman was forced to jump out of her Ford Escape after it accelerated out of control. Another fatal accident occurred two summers later, when a woman's Escape suddenly accelerated, flipped and crashed into a school bus. Ford was hit with lawsuits and settled in both cases, but did not admit any fault in the settlements. In one of the cases, the family of the victim and the attorney received over $1 million.

However, it wasn't until a teenager died in a similar crash in 2012 that Ford publicly acknowledged a problem with the acceleration in their Ford Escapes. A massive recall ensued, affecting over a half a million models from the years 2001-2004. Inspectors examined all three of the vehicles involved in the fatal accidents and found the same flaw in each: a defect in the plastic cover on the speed control cable which caused the cable to get stuck under the engine cover, forcing the throttle open and causing acceleration at extremely high speeds.

While Ford seemed to quickly address the problem following the fatal crash in 2012, an investigation has revealed complaints going back several years, as well as the filing of multiple wrongful death lawsuits over the Escape. When the government opened an investigation, it found 99 complaints concerning the throttle and acceleration issues with the Escape. The complaints went back over 10 years and were all available to be examined by Ford.

However, problems continue with the vehicle, including a crash that occurred in Texas when a mother with two young sons in the car lost control of her vehicle due to unexpected acceleration. Fortunately this woman and her kids all walked away, but she believes that if Ford had issued the recall years earlier it could have stopped her crash as well as others around the nation. Ford is still involved in active litigation concerning this vehicle and will likely continue to be plagued by personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits until the issues concerning the Escape are fully addressed and corrected.

Source: ABC15.com, "Years of lawsuits and complaints raise new questions about Ford Escape recall," Joe Ducey and Lauren Gilger, Aug. 26, 2012

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