The consumer group KidsAndCars.org is calling for all models of vehicles to install internal trunk releases after the Friday, June 17 death of a two-year-old and a four-year-old in New Carlisle, Indiana. The boys were trapped in the hot trunk of a 2000 Chevy Malibu unable to get out.
In 2009, two Arkansas children also died in the trunk of a 2000 Malibu. Back then, KidsndCars.org asked General Motors to issue a recall of 2000 and 2001 models to install an internal a trunk release. The organization singled out GM after 11 children died in hot trunks in 1998, but GM did nothing. WNDU-TV reports that over the last 19 years, 44 American youngsters have died in car trunk. That number is now at 46.
Compare GM to the Ford Motor Co. which installed a glow-in-the-dark trunk release in every model by the year 2000, two years before the lighted trunk releases were made mandatory. Adding insult to injury, General Motors will charge today if someone wants to install safety pulls in the trunks of older cars.
It is recommended that all cars are left locked and that the trunk be the first place to search when a child goes missing. About 30 percent of child deaths around cars occur when a child climbs in and cannot get out. None of the reports find that Ford has been involved in any child trunk deaths since its voluntary move to put a release inside the trunk.
The Farah & Farah law firm believes these preventable deaths are due to a design defect that affects all GM cars of this model year. Failing to correct the product defect with so much notice is unconscionable and a jury would find so too. Our product liability attorneys in Jacksonville will hold negligent corporations accountable for their actions, especially when the lives of children are involved.
Sources: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/after-child-deaths-kidsandcars-org-renews-challenge-to-g-m/?hpw and http://www.wndu.com/hometop/headlines/124169434.html