While collisions involving heavy-duty trucks are no doubt both dangerous and terrifying, one of the most lethal accident scenarios often happens after the collision itself, when a truck catches fire. Between July and September of this year, nearly 73,000 Freightliner trucks were recalled for minor defects to headlights and exhaust pipes that ultimately posed serious fire risks. I’ll tell you more about these recalls below, and when a New York truck accident lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates may be able to help.
In mid-July, Daimler Trucks North America recalled 72,508 trucks with defective headlights. Freightliner Cascadias manufactured between 2017 and 2022 were all included in the recall. This case is of particular interest because the issue that resulted in the recall — an issue with the headlight dislodging from its socket — doesn’t sound like a big deal. While this could obviously pose immediate dangers in terms of visibility, the real risk that spurred the recall was the potential for a serious fire.
If the dislocated headlight comes into contact with any nearby plastic components, it will likely melt them, which sharply increases the risk of fire. If you drive a Freightliner Cascadia and notice that the lens inside your headlight appears to sit at an awkward angle, or a headlight begins to flicker while you are driving the truck, get your truck examined immediately. If your truck caught fire and you were injured due to this issue, working with a New York truck accident attorney is in your best interest. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Buttafuoco & Associates.
Exhaust Pipe Defects
In September, another major safety issue with Freightliner Cascadias came to light: an exhaust pipe defect. While only a small subset of trucks were included in the recall—460 trucks built between April 1 and July 12 of 2021—the situation created by the defect remains incredibly dangerous.
In this case, a mis-installed exhaust pipe outlet resulted in the tip of the outlet facing the nearby battery boxes, resulting in the potential for the box to melt and cause a serious fire. If you notice residue on the components near your exhaust pipe, a smell of melting materials, or any melted components, make sure you have your truck examined ASAP.
Fuel Tank Defects
Outside of the cases described above, fuel tank defects are another serious issue that results in dangerous fires after a truck collision. Because of how fuel tanks are mounted, they are particularly vulnerable to being punctured during an accident. In 2019, the family of a trucker killed after her Freightliner truck caught fire was awarded $12 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. Read more about this case and particular defect here.
The Dangers of Truck Fires
As our truck accident lawyers in New York know all too well, if a truck catches fire during an accident, it instantly creates an extremely lethal situation. Passengers can easily become trapped within their vehicles, with the fire making escape impossible. Even if a passenger survives, they can face deforming burns, serious lung injuries from inhaling smoke and fire, scarring, amputation, and more.
Recovering from these types of injuries requires extensive medical care, lengthy hospital stays, and visits to specialists, all of which can result in incredibly costly medical bills. Not to mention the weeks of pain management, rehabilitation, and psychotherapy that may be necessary to move past the trauma of such an incident.
If you are involved in a truck accident, it is imperative that you work with a qualified New York truck accident lawyer with experience in these types of cases. At Buttafuoco & Associates, our product liability lawyers have decades of experience in cases involving product recalls. Truck manufacturers absolutely must be held accountable, and these cases can be complicated, so working with a lawyer is the best way to ensure the best outcome for your case. If you have been injured, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
Call Buttafuoco & Associates at 1-800-NOW-HURT.