An automotive safety expert witness with a background in mechanical and automotive engineering discusses automobile accidents caused by stuck accelerators. This case involves a man and his son who were killed and several of their family members were permanently injured when their rental car was hit from behind by another vehicle. The driver of the offending vehicle, who was returning from a family function with his pregnant wife and other relatives, said the car suddenly accelerated as he was exiting the highway. The brakes did not work. The vehicle was estimated to be traveling 90-mph when it impacted the victims’ vehicle, which was stopped at the end of an exit ramp.
The driver was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to prison. It wasn’t until after vehicles made by the same manufacturer were being recalled for similar acceleration problems that the driver won reversal of his conviction under the industry-specific Lemon Laws. The victims then sued the auto manufacturer for wrongful death, design defect and failure to warn, among other claims.