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Allegations of Defective Active Head Restraint Systems

Are Chrysler Fiat’s active head restraint systems defective? Talk about a pain in the neck

Chrysler Fiat defects attorneys have learned of a proposed class action lawsuit against the automaker resulting from some of their allegedly defective active head restraint systems.

The active head restraint system is designed to move the headrest forward in the event of a collision to protect the occupants from a whiplash injury in a rear-end crash.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that some drivers and passengers of Dodge Avengers and Jeep Cherokees equipped with active head restraint systems have sustained injuries to “their necks, faces, and heads” when the headrests deploy without warning “under normal driving conditions and smack occupants in their heads”.

Ironically, the alleged effect is that the headrests are causing the whiplash injuries the system was designed to prevent or are exacerbating pre-existing conditions of the unlucky headrest victims. The alleged sucker punch also may present a safety hazard to everyone on the road as the stricken driver must then struggle to retain not only consciousness but control of the moving vehicle.

According to the lawsuit, an “allegedly defective piece of plastic” within the headrest “cracks due to constant tension and stress forces” and when it fails, it causes the headrest to deploy. Reportedly, there is no outward sign of wear to the part and attempts to reset the headrest after deployment allegedly don’t work.

Reportedly, over the past three years, 91 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with respect to the allegedly defective active head restraint system. Plaintiffs further allege the vehicles are unsafe to drive and that the automaker “concealed the problems and has refused to recall the vehicles”.

Fortunately, car buyers and lessees have legal options.

While state laws differ, the lemon law recognizes that new car owners and lessees have a right to expect their vehicles will meet high standards of performance, reliability, and safety. If your vehicle has a defect that substantially impairs its use, value or safety and they cannot or will not make the repairs after notified of the problem, car owners and lessees may have a valid lemon law claim.

Even if you cannot pursue a lemon law claim, there may be time to pursue a federal or state-based breach of warranty claim. So, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.

If you think you may have a New Jersey or Pennsylvania lemon law claim, a breach of warranty claim, or have questions regarding an auto recall, Timothy Abeel & Associates can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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