RumbergerKirk represents automotive, motorcycle and off-road vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers in claims and lawsuits involving: product liability; warranty and lemon law; and commercial litigation, including class actions.
The allegations of product defect against motor vehicle manufacturers relate to general crashworthiness, occupant restraint systems, stability and handling, failure to incorporate optional safety technology, braking systems, steering, tires, suspension components, engines and drive trains. These cases often require complex, specialized technical investigations and forensic testing, as well as the ability to manage extensive document and deposition discovery. Motor vehicle technology is advancing at a rapid pace. We keep abreast of technical developments and use the experience gained through many years of defending manufacturers to efficiently represent our clients.
Defending motor vehicle product liability litigation requires a specialized understanding of the unique dynamics of the operation and performance of each distinct type of vehicle. Our lawyers have developed an extensive understanding of these issues from decades defending manufacturers as well as personal experience. This litigation also requires a specialized understanding of not only the engineering, design and manufacturing issues, but also biomechanical and kinematic issues relating to injuries sustained or claimed by users.
Our experience with motor vehicle manufacturers also includes class action litigation. Class action lawsuits are a growing threat to our clients and other vehicle manufacturers. This type of litigation is frequently generated as a result of a recall or field action campaigns, fuel economy estimates, EPA compliance, or technical service bulletins.
Warranty and lemon law litigation has become a major challenge for motor vehicle manufacturers. In some states, the cost of warranty and lemon law litigation has exceeded the expenditures for product liability litigation. RumbergerKirk is on the forefront of analyzing and defending a broad spectrum of manufacturers against these costly claims. Often, exposure to the payment of plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees is the driving factor and can far exceed the damages available to the consumer in the litigation.