Ford Passenger Van Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Canada
A class action lawsuit has been filed in Canada against Ford Motor Company over its 15-passenger van, alleging that the vehicle is prone to rollovers that have killed hundreds of people, including the plaintiff’s son.
The Ford passenger van class action lawsuit was filed in Winnipeg, Canada in late September by Stella Gurr of Nanaimo, whose son, Michael, was killed in a 2008 rollover accident in a Ford E-Series 15-passenger van. Gurr seeks to have the lawsuit given class action status and hopes to push all Canadian provinces to ban governmental use of the vehicle, which is commonly used for school transportation in a number of provinces.
The accident that sparked the lawsuit killed Gurr’s son, a 26-year-old musician, as well as seven students and a teacher from Bathurst, New Brunswick in September 2008. A year later, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer advisory on the vans’ propensity to roll over.
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The NHTSA says that 1,100 people have died in single-vehicle rollover accidents while in Ford E-Series 15-passenger vans between 1992 and 2002. The agency determined that the vans have a much higher rollover risk than other passenger vehicles, particularly when loaded with passengers and luggage.
According to federal investigators in a May 2009 report (pdf), 15-passenger vans with 10 or more occupants are three times as likely to rollover than those that are carrying fewer than five occupants.
In recent years, the NHTSA has found that the death rate from 15-passenger van rollover accidents is increasing. In 2007, there was a 73% increase in fatalities over 2006, with 45 people killed in the U.S. The NHTSA found that 80% of those fatalities occurred when passengers were not wearing seat belts.
Gurr and Isabella Hains, the mother of another student killed in the 2008 accident, are pushing for a Canada-wide ban on the use of the vehicles for school transportation. Bans have already been enacted in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec.
The NHTSA has already restricted the vehicles’ use as student transportation in the United States. Conventional 12 to 15-passenger vans cannot be sold or leased to carry students to or from schools or day care on a regular basis.
ThomasAugust 13, 2011 at 11:11 am
This was my letter to Ford Head Office on August the 9th of 2011 On Tuesday August the 9th of 2011 at around 11:00 a.m. I had gotten into my Ford Windstar minivan to go to my physiotherapy appointment as I usually do every Tuesday and Thursday. As I proceeded out of my driveway I immediately felt the vehicle drop slightly followed by grinding type noise, at this point I was not sure what had hap[Show More]This was my letter to Ford Head Office on August the 9th of 2011 On Tuesday August the 9th of 2011 at around 11:00 a.m. I had gotten into my Ford Windstar minivan to go to my physiotherapy appointment as I usually do every Tuesday and Thursday. As I proceeded out of my driveway I immediately felt the vehicle drop slightly followed by grinding type noise, at this point I was not sure what had happened and put the vehicle in park. Unable to inspect the problem on my own as I am disabled and in a wheelchair. My wife and neighbor had happened to hear the loud grinding noise and came outside to see what had happened. My wife then notified me that there was something strange looking with the front right passenger side tire, when I had finally gotten out of the vehicle, to my surprise, the front right tire had bottomed out on the wheel well and was cambered outwards which I new was not normal. Knowing a bit about cars I asked my wife to take a picture of the mechanics behind the wheel which I could not see myself, so that I could inspect the photo on my computer later on. I was terrified at what I had discovered. The front right stabilizer arm which bolts onto a bracket that is welded to the front frame/sub-frame had sheared/cracked off of the sub-frame and also the right front axle had dislodged from the transmission as can be seen circled in black on the photo I have attached. Dear Sir or Madam, If this bracket were to perforate and completely dislodge as it did in front of my driveway, but instead on a highway or at a higher speed, this would have caused a crash which could have, and more likely would have led to serious injury even worse, a fatality or fatalities to myself and other passengers in the vehicle and maybe even to other innocent bystanders using the road. Dear sir or Madam, simply put, I would not feel safe putting my family or myself or anyone else for that fact into this vehicle again. Why? because this is a structural defect as a result of either, or a combination off defective welds, weak or low grade steel used in the manufacturing process, incorrect or defective corrosion blockers or sealer compounds used in the assembly line process. Simply put...who knows what other perforations remain hidden and ready to crack at any given time putting myself, my family and other people at risk. This vehicle in my opinion is literally a "Ticking Time Bomb". Furthermore I have no means of transportation now. Meaning I am unable to go to my physiotherapy 2 times a week, the chronic pain clinic, and other doctors that I see on a regular basis who are treating my condition. This is not only causing me unnecessary Pain and Suffering but has hindered treatment that I require on a regular basis which could worsen my condition further. Please advise me of what you plan to do to resolve this issue at the soonest time possible. I thank you in advance for your attention and cooperation in this matter.
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