Mazda seeking the U.S. Supreme Court’s help in limiting lawsuits

Article by Christian A., on November 5, 2010

The automobile industry wants the Supreme Court to help limit lawsuits that charge carmakers for failing to install the best safety equipment. This case, which involves Mazda Motor Corp., “raises issues of enormous importance to auto manufacturers," according to Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

He asserted that there’s a fear that federal regulations would be "superseded" by a hodgepodge of state laws on personal injury claims. However, there’s a possibility that the Supreme Court will deadlock 4-4 since Elena Kagan, the newest justice, has disqualified herself.

Kagan, the Obama administration's solicitor general, had urged the court to take the case. With a tie vote, a lower court ruling would remain intact, favoring automakers without setting a national precedent.

What the auto industry and its allies are asking the court is to reinforce a 2000 decision that indicated that federal law shields automakers from state law claims on how fast manufacturers installed air bags, now a requirement in vehicles sold in the US.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, food producers and makers of children's products have weighed in on Mazda's side. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has 59 safety standards covering automotive components, such as windshield wipers, internal trunk releases and seat belts.

These standards set performance guidelines that manufacturers are required to comply with. The suit was filed against Mazda by the family of Thanh Williamson, 32, who died in 2002 in Utah as she had been a passenger on the rear aisle seat in the second row of a 1993 MPV minivan. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: mazda, lawsuit

If you liked the article, share on:

Pin It

Comments

Recommended

South Korean car company SsangYong recently revealed sketches of their upcoming SUV. We’re not always impressed by Korean car designs, but this one looks quite promising. Yup, it is the...
by - March 26, 2017
Twenty-eight years after the company was first launched by Toyota, which was initially targeted to the United States market only, Lexus has already made its way to over 70 countries....
by - March 26, 2017
Last year was probably Porsche’s best year ever in terms of sales. Their factory in Stuttgart delivered 237,778 cars in total, which represents a six percent increase compared to the...
by - March 26, 2017
Lamborghini has disclosed that it is looking into the possibility of releasing electric vehicles. With the Volkswagen Group revealing that it will be releasing electric vehicles within several years, there...
by - March 25, 2017
Daimler AG, through its Smart division, has disclosed that its two electric models, the Smart ForTwo and the Smart ForFour are now open for orders in Germany. Official market launch...
by - March 25, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries