Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.

Startling News for Minivan Owners

According to a report issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety three popular models have received poor reviews in the IIHS’s front-end collision test.

The tests simulate what happens to a driver in a front-end collision. The ever-popular Chrysler Town and Country Minivan is one car that failed this IIHS test. According to reports by CBS, when the experts ran the Town and Country into a barrier, drivers side only, at 40 mph, the air bag deployed, but the front of the car collapsed. In this situation, the driver would be thrown off the bag and suffer a blow to the head. And this was not the worst collision: IIHS also tested the Nissan Quest, which when the model hit the barrier, its engine compartment was pushed two feet backward pinning the test dummy so completely that research technicians had to dismantle the front seat to recover it.

In a statement obtained by CBS, Executive Vice President Dave Zuby said that the Nissan Quest “is one of the worst vehicles we’ve tested in this particular test. The forces that we measured on the dummy’s left leg suggest that a person would be lucky to recover from the leg injuries and be able to walk normally again,” he said.

These new overlap tests are relatively new-they were initiated because a significant number of drivers were being killed in off-center collisions. The misperception, as Zuby puts it, is that people assume that cars are safer than ever, yet people are still dying and being seriously injured during front-end collisions.

In addition to Chrysler’s Town and Country, Dodge’s Caravan, and Nissan’s Quest being tested-all of which were rated as poor, the IIHS tested the Toyota Sienna (rated acceptable) and the Honda Odyssey (good).

While several of the companies responded to the IIHS’s reports, none have developed a plan to mitigate the issue; especially given the research is in its infancy and each car complies with government standards. These facts do little to stifle the worry amongst parents who think that driving bigger means better…and safer.

Like all products manufacturers, car companies are liable for ensuring that their cars meet safety standards and do not pose a significant threat to drivers or passengers should they be involved in a motor vehicle crash. When car companies fail to ensure their vehicles are safe and someone is injured, they become liable for the victim’s injuries. Victims who have been involved in an accident involving a faulty product or automobile often wonder what their next step should be and if what their rights are; if they have any at all. In these types of complicated cases, it is often advised to seek the advice of a legal profession who specializes in defective products litiagation.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman, our team of seasoned attorneys is committed to assisting clients who have been injured as the result of defective products, including mechanically unsafe cars. This year especially has been a challenging year for carmakers as hundreds of millions of recalls have been issued due to consumers being killed or injured in mechanically defective automobiles. If you or a loved one was injured as the result of a defective or unsafe product, please call our office to speak to one of our esteemed attorneys. We will discuss with you your rights and how to best proceed during this difficult time. Our staff is on hand around the clock to answer any questions you may have about your case and all consultations are completely free and confidential.

Read the full report here.