An Alabama company that manufactures tractor trailer hitches has issued a recall of about 6,800 parts due to a suspected defect. The tractor trailer hitch was involved in a fatal Ohio accident last year. Fontaine Fifth Wheel of Alabama agreed to the recall after a year of pressure from the government. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the tractor trailer hitches back in June after a 12 ton semi-trailer carrying food came loose from the tractor and plowed into oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, our Miami truck accident attorneys discovered that two men were killed as they drove on the snow lined road.
Documents filed with the NHTSA reveal that the hitch locking mechanisms can become damaged over time if truck operators do not follow proper coupling and maintenance procedures. The hitches are made to lock a pin from the trailer in the hold, holding it in while the truck is moving. However, according to Fontaine documents, cumulative damage to the hitches can cause them to malfunction or, in severe cases, fail.
Fontaine has offered to replace all defective hitches with another type that uses a different locking mechanism. The defective hitches have not been produced since 2013. In the meantime the trucking line and the driver from the Ohio accident are still facing civil lawsuits and Fontaine will likely face litigation from the victims of accidents caused by their defective hitches.
Common Semi-Truck Product Defects
There are several types of possible defects that can cause truck accidents. Some of the most common include:
Defective Underride Guards
Underride guards are safety bars attached to the rear of the trailer. They are intended primarily to prevent passenger vehicles from going underneath trucks in the event of a rear end accident. When a truck’s underride guard is defective or fails to meet safety standards, the results can be catastrophic. New studies have demonstrated that many underride guards manufactured today fail to meet minimum requirements and allow cars to travel far underneath the trailer. If you are injured in a truck accident that could involve a defective underride guard, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Defective Truck Tires
Defective tires are one of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents. If a blowout can be traced to a defective tire, the manufacturer of the tire may be held accountable for the serious injuries or deaths that result. Tire defects cannot be easy to detect and anyone injured in a tire related truck crash should seek the assistance of a lawyer as soon as possible.
Defective Truck Fuel Systems
Truck accident victims are often injured or killed by fires that erupt after a truck accident. At times, these fires stem from a defective fuel system that leaks fuel and creates massive fires. The manufacturer of the fuel system can be held accountable for these injuries and deaths.
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano: Zealous Representation for Truck Accident Victims
If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a truck accident, the Miami Truck Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire. With over 130 collective years of experience representing truck accident victims across South Florida, our firm provides legal representation of unmatched excellence. Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights. Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald. Put our exceptional truck accident attorneys to work on your case. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.