a2Decatur, GA- A Georgia family is suing American automaker Chrysler, alleging faulty design of older jeep models led to the horrific death of a 4-year-old boy.
In a lawsuit the family of the Remington Walden, who was killed in a fiery collision in 2012, alleges Chrysler knew  the placement of the gas tanks on older Jeep models made the vehicles prone to catch on fire in rear-impact collisions, but ignored the problem. An allegation attorneys for the automaker deny, according to the Financial Times
Remington Walden’s aunt was taking the young boy to a tennis lesson when the 1999 Jeep Cherokee the two were riding in was rear-ended by another motorist traveling at 56 mph. The gas tank caught fire and overtook the back seat where the young boy was strapped into a booster seat. Attorneys for the family said in his opening statement that the blaze was so hot, Remington’s body was fused to the Jeep door,the Financial Times reported.
His aunt survived the crash, but was taken to the hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation.
According to the Financial Times, the attorney representing Chrysler disputed the boy’s cause of death, pointing to a coroner’s report which said the boy died of blunt force trauma not the fire.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report in 2010 stating that Jeep Grand Cherokee models manufactured between 1993 and 2004, “have defective fuel tank storage systems that present a fire hazard in crashes,” due to the “tank’s placement behind the rear axle and below the rear bumper, and the lack of adequate shielding, make it more vulnerable to rupture or leakage from a rear-impact by another vehicle.”
According to the 2010 NHTSA report, since 1998 there were 44 crashes involving Jeep models which result in 64 fatalities where fire was listed as the “Most Harmful Event.”
Armed with that information, the federal agency sought a mandatory recall of Jeep models with gas tanks less than 11 inches of the rear bumper, but pulled rescinded that recall after Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne. Chrysler brokered a deal with the federal agency to include trailer hitches on the rear bumpers of specific Jeep models in order to avoid a recall, according to the Financial Times.
Speaking to the Financial Times, safety advocates said the issue with Jeep model gas tanks could become a scandal on par with the General Motors’ faulty ignition switches.
If you have been injured in an accident or lost loved one caused by a defective auto part or faulty design, you need to speak with an accident attorney in Decatur to discuss if you should bring a personal injury or wrongful death suit against an auto manufacturer.
The top-notch Georgia attorneys at USAttorneys know how drastically an accident can change the victim’s life and strive to get them the best accident settlement possible. They will be dedicated to your case and strive to give you peace of mind in this troubling time.

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