Accident Shows The Dangers of DIY Car Repair

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

A 65-year old Michigan man died after being pinned by an SUV on September 10, 2017. Dennis Peters, of Mayfield Township, Michigan, was struck by a car he was attempting to repair according to the Detroit Free Press. Peters was attempting to fix the brakes on a friend’s car. Someone moved the car, but the brakes were not functioning properly, so the kept going and hit Peters, pinning him against the garage. Mr. Peters' death is being investigated as an accident.

This story may sound somewhat familiar to readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog. Last summer, we wrote about the death of actor Anton Yelchin. Yelchin was also killed after being pinned by his own SUV. Even though Yelchin placed his Jeep Cherokee in park and exited the vehicle, the car started rolling down the steep driveway it was parked in and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar. This accident, however, was caused due to a faulty gear shift problem which was under recall from Chrysler Fiat.

Thankfully, deaths due to faulty brakes are relatively uncommon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey in 2015, in which they looked at the critical causes of car accidents. It was discovered that out of the approximately 2,200,000 accidents that took place between 2005 and 2007, 44,000 were due to an issue with the vehicle. Of this 44,000, faulty brakes attributed to 10,000 accidents. While this number may seem relatively small, it is certainly not the same as 0 deaths.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Fixing faulty brakes is a job that people often try to undertake themselves, rather than taking the car to a professional mechanic. Many think fixing malfunctioning brakes is one of the easier repair jobs on a car, but it is more difficult than people realize, and it is critical to get it right. When not done properly, the consequences can be deadly, as unfortunately seen in Mayfield Township. Fixing brakes doesn’t just involve repairing the brake pads, but also the calipers, rotors, wheel bearings, and brake fluid. Not properly repairing any one of these items can lead to a car malfunctioning, which could potentially lead to a car crash.

According to Auto Notebook, there are a few reasons why drivers decide to undertake car repair projects on their own, rather than going to a mechanic. Saving money is the most commonly cited reason. On top of that, video tutorials, detailed instructions, make and model information, and high quality pictures can now all be found online, making drivers much more confident in their abilities to fix their own car.

However despite popular belief, at home car repairs are not always going to be cheaper, especially in the long run. It's understandable that buying a $10 can of do-it-yourself (DIY) crack filler to fix a cracked windshield sounds a lot better than paying someone to fix it for $75, but when the DIY fix doesn’t work and the window shatters, it can cost $500 to replace it. More so, engines and transmissions are the most complicated parts of a car, and when the average Joe tries and fails to fix these parts himself, it can cost up to $7,000 each to replace them. On top of the monetary cost, any job that involves jacking up a car and crawling underneath, such as replacing shock absorbers, can be extremely dangerous, and is best left to a professional. From an expensive ER bill for a crushed hand, to causing a car crash on the highway due to a bad brake repair job, the risks of DIY car maintenance greatly outweigh any potential benefit. 

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Fixing your car yourself may sound very appealing - you can potentially save money, save time, and claim bragging rights to your friends and family about how smoothly you got your car running. However, without the proper training or experience, fixing your own car has the potential to be deadly or at the very least, costly. Changing a tire on the side of the road is one thing, trying to untangle the maze of wires in your very expensive transmission is quite another. Therefore, taking your car to a professional mechanic is the easiest and safest way to ensure that your car is maintained properly and safely. 

Accidents can still happen, regardless of how well taken care of your car is. If you have been involved in a automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of car accident law suits, including those caused by recall defects or faulty car parts.

Fiat Chrysler Gear Shift Recall

Anton Yelchin Jeep Death Lawsuit

Fiat Chrysler is looking to fix a design issue in some of its gear shifts which may be found as the cause of death for “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin. The automaker notes that while drivers believe they have placed their cars in park only to have their cars rolling away, the car is actually in neutral. 

Yelchin died on June 19, 2016 when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and he was crushed between the car and a brick pillar. Chrysler said the company is still investigating the death and that it is too soon to determine the exact cause of the accident. This comes two months after it began sending recall notices to more than 1 million Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge owners, but there is still no fix according to CNN Money. The company has said that it “anticipates having the software updates required to remedy the vehicles no later than July or August of 2016.”

Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal more than 300 consumer complaints about the gear shift issue. Within those 300 complaints lie 212 accidents and 41 injures. Those injuries included three people who fractured their pelvis, ruptured their bladder, fractured a kneecap, broke their ribs and injured their right leg. 

Jeep Recall Car Accident Lawyer

As CNNMoney points out, it is not uncommon for a delay between when a problem is detected and when it can be repaired. An example of this has been highlighted in a blog post from The Michigan Law Firm regarding the recall of Takata airbags, which have a risk of exploding. At least 13 people have died from the defective airbags, making it the largest auto recall in history. But unfortunately, some drivers will have to wait until 2019 to get new air bags. And only on June 21, 2016 did Fiat Chrysler announce that it will stop building cars with the defective Takata airbags. 

“We continue to expedite this campaign in the best interests of our customers,” Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said. Drivers who are confused about the operation of features as simple as a gear shifter should contact their car dealer with questions. 

Are you having issue getting your Fiat, Chrysler, or Jeep into park? Car defects that are not properly repaired or replaced can lead to severe injuries and even death. If you see a recall out for your vehicle, even if it's for a minor defect, it is important that you have your car fixed or replaced as soon as possible. While a small error with the vehicle may seem negligible, it can cause serious consequences down the road. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident which was caused by car defects, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will fight to the fullest extent of the law to get you the help you deserve. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Actor Anton Yelchin's Parents File Lawsuit Against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Anton Yelchin Death Lawsuit

The parents of late actor Anton Yelchin have spoken out after filing a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Anton was our only son and was a remarkable human being. It is wrong, it is against nature when parents bury their own child,” Victor Yelchin, Anton’s father, said at a media conference. 

The 27-year-old actor, who was most recently a part of the highly successful and popular film, Star Trek Beyond, was killed by his own vehicle June 19th, 2016 when he left his California home for rehearsal. According to the police report, Yelchin had exited his Jeep Grand Cherokee, leaving it parked in his driveway. The car, which was subject for a recall from Fiat Chrysler, started to roll down the steep driveway, and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar and security fence. Los Angeles County medical examiners determined that Yelchin’s death was accidental and was caused by “blunt traumatic asphyxia.” 

The actor’s SUV was included in a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles by Fiat Chrysler. Gary Dordick, the family’s lawyer says that a May recall notice sent out by the car company to notify the public of the recall wasn’t found in Yelchin’s possession, and a second letter was mailed to Yelchin’s home seven days after he had died. “The safety recall was way too little and way too late,” said Dordick. “We hope this lawsuit will teach them a lesson.” 

Fiat Chrysler Recall Lawyer

Dordick also said that the type of vehicle Yelchin was driving had over 700 rolling incidents and dozens of people injured, but there was a lack of response from the automaker. “The problem with the gear shift is that people mistakenly think it’s in park and there’s no warning,” Dordick explained. A government investigation into the gear shift found 266 crashes which injured 68 people, as of late June 2016. 

The Detroit Free Press reported that at the time of Yelchin’s death, Fiat Chrysler extended it’s “most sincere condolences” to his family and friends. However, on Tuesday, the Yelchins said the company had not directly apologized for the incident. Within an hour of the family’s press conference, Fiat Chrysler sent out another statement: 

“We extend our sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss. The company has not been served with a lawsuit and cannot comment further at this time. FCA US urges customers to follow the instructions in their owners manuals and the information cards sent with their recall notices. These instructions include advising customers to set the parking brakes in their vehicles before exiting.”

Car defects and malfunctions can cause drivers to lose complete control of their vehicle, which can put their lives and the lives of others at risk. Therefore, any notices of recalls should be evaluated seriously. It is important to make sure that your car dealer or the maker of your automobile has your most current address, to ensure that you receive notification of any recalls in the mail. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a car accident which was caused by a car defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will work alongside you to get you the help you need, including any reimbursement for medical services, wage loss, or pain and suffering that you may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.