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Volvo found guilty of manslaughter

 
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Volvo found guilty of manslaughter

Volvo found guilty of manslaughter

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In what seems to be a growing trend, Volvo cars was found guilty of manslaughter in a 1999 accident. Just a few weeks ago, a former Mitsubishi Motors head and several other executives were found guilty in the death of a man driving a defective truck that went out of control and hit a wall. The woman at the wheel of the Volvo in 1999 struck and killed two children after her brakes failed.

Volvo denies that any mechanical failure was to blame for the horrific accident, but a French court has ruled it was in fact a brake failure that caused the accident, reports BBC News. The driver of the Volvo 850 TDI, Catherine Kohtz, also received a six-month suspended sentence and a $446 fine. Volvo was fined 200,000 euros, although it plans to appeal the decision, insisting there was no problem with the brakes.

The Mitsubishi Motors executives found guilty in the death of the truck driver were found to have failed to issue a recall for a faulty clutch housing. The Japanese court held that if they had done so, the crash and subsequent death of the driver could have been avoided. The executives knew of the fault but chose to conduct secret repairs rather than face a public recall, according to Automotive News. The executives were all given suspended sentences.

While it certainly isn't groundbreaking, legally speaking, for executives and corporations to be held responsible for their negligence, the incidence of these cases seems to be increasing. And the success rate of the prosecution seems to be similarly high. While that might be a worrisome prospect for the manufacturers, it can only serve as motivation to ensure the highest possible safety standards and practices - especially in the face of recalls for defective equipment. Unfortunately, it is the consumer that will ultimately foot the bill for such caution, but perhaps by distributing the cost on a per-car basis, we can avoid forcing a few of us to pay the ultimate price.

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Comments (6)
  1. Without the full facts of the case, it is hard to know whether a manufacturing defect is indirectly responsible for the deaths of two children. However, there will never be anything safe about two tons of metal moving with lethal speed. Drivers must take responsibility for their machines and maintain them appropriately. I hope this is not the beginning in a long line of sillier and sillier lawsuits, culminating in the classic "thwarted thief sues elderly couple for medical damages after unsafe garage roof prevented break-in."
     
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  2. If this car was newer than one month... i'd be willing to hold the company accountable... but where do you draw the line?? i mean.. I've had the breaks fail on my 20 year old truck.... can i sue ford? what if its 20 months old? 20 days? wheres the line?

    if we arent prepared to accept that cars easily the most dangerous objects available to the wide spread public... then god help us all.

    yeah i'm all for higher safety standards blah blah... but accountability? im sure if there was a real problem with volvo and quality (of this kind) then sales would go down. its bad PR all around.
     
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  3. I have one word for you all and one word is more than enough: LAWYERS.
     
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  4. Of course even one death is too many.
    But like Roy said, nature never intended for us to travel at these speeds.
    All traffic injuries and fatalities can be blamed on the car to a certain extent, but even the safest vehicle in the world (I would argue that would be either the S-class or the GL from Benz) is still not a guarantee of survival.
     
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  5. I have nothing to add - I completely and absolutely agree with all of the comments above.
     
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  6. I was set to defend Volvo, but after reading the rest, Volvo should be fined more loot than that. Although her vehicle was improperly repaired, things might have turned out a lot better for her if she drove defensively instead of reckless.
     
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