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Los Angeles Times: Ford and Chrysler Passenger Van Rollovers, Wigington Interview

Jun 06, 2019

The Los Angeles Times reports 15 passenger vans made by Ford and Daimler Chrysler are widely used for church groups and college sports teams, including the Prairie View A&M track team whose Ford van flipped over, killing four college students and injuring six others. Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair represented victims of this tragic rollover crash.

Ford blamed the fatal college track team accident on unsafe driving, and denied any defective wrongdoing on its part.

The Department of Health and Human Services, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have all administered their own safety warnings to local programs and the public about the dangers of these vans, including their stability issues. The high center of gravity increases with each occupant in the vehicle, giving it a high risk of rollover in the event of tire failure or emergency precautions.

Ford, however, had exempted the 15 passenger vans from the corporate rollover resistance guidelines.

Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP’s Jeff Wigington told the reporter he was surprised to learn of this exemption. Wigington explained the van exemption as being “unreasonable and irresponsible” when “Ford knows [they] will be used to transport college students, church groups…and other consumers in large numbers.”