Faulty head restraints are being blamed for two devastating incidents in Texas that caused the death of one passenger and the paralysis of another. In two separate collisions, drivers operating 2016 Chevy Malibu cars were rear ended by other vehicles. Inadequate head restraints resulted in catastrophic injuries in what would otherwise have been minor incidents according to the victims’ attorney.
Injuries and Death from Faulty Head Restraint
Two Texas families are filing lawsuits against GM for defective head restraints in their Malibu vehicles. In the first lawsuit, a 46-year-old driver was rear-ended by a truck. The head restraint dislodged from the seat and killed the driver. The victim’s family maintains that the posts and inserts detached from the head restraint and led to internal decapitation. In the second lawsuit, a 71-year-old driver was hit from behind by a pickup truck. The head restraint broke off and the driver is now completely paralyzed from the neck down. The attorney describes both these collisions as low-speed impacts with the 71-year-old driver traveling at 10 miles per hour.
Failure of Head Restraints in Rear End Collisions
The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer failed to outfit its vehicles with adequate head restraints in rear impact collisions. It further claims that the head restraints did not pass crashworthiness tests and failed to undergo thorough engineering evaluations. The crux of the claim is that the materials used to construct the head restraints were cheap and ineffective. The victims’ attorney maintains that the manufacturer used hollowed-out inexpensive grade metal for the posts. This faulty construction would result in catastrophic injury if the post failed.
General Motors Defends its Head Restraint Design
General Motors has responded that the injury and death in these incidents were the result of the negligence of third parties and not a defect in the design of its vehicle parts. GM further maintains that the vehicles in question complied with all federal motor vehicle safety standards and were not subject to any open recalls for head restraints issued by the NHTSA. The NHTSA gave the 2016 Chevy Malibu high ratings in safety tests involving front and side crashes, although no rear end collisions testing was performed. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the head restraints as “good” in its testing, the highest mark a manufacturer can receive.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.