In a high-octane legal showdown, Fiat Chrysler accelerates its efforts to reopen a once-stalled lawsuit in Michigan. The automotive titan aims to compel a supplier, Yanfeng, to shoulder the financial burden of a safety recall, centered on what Chrysler deems a flawed design.
Collision Course: The Pacifica Peril
Fiat Chrysler’s parent, FCA US LLC, initiated this legal tangle in 2020 against Yanfeng and its ally, Johnson Controls. The bone of contention? A hefty tab for the 2018 recall of select Chrysler Pacifica models. But the lawsuit hit a red light in 2021, sidetracked by a related case simmering in a New York federal court.
Fiat Chrysler Pacifica Recall: A Tragic Turn
Fueling FCA’s renewed legal charge is a recently settled case involving a young boy tragically run over by a Pacifica. This settlement has revved up Fiat Chrysler’s pursuit against Yanfeng, as they seek justice and compensation in the Michigan courts.
The Heart of the Hazard: A Flawed Design
At the heart of this mechanical mystery is the Pacifica’s shifter override plug. FCA discovered in 2018 that it could be manually opened, sans tools, leading to accidental vehicle rollaways. This revelation prompted a safety recall for 2017 and 2018 Pacifica vehicles, introducing more secure manual parking release covers.
Fiat Chrysler Pacifica Recall: Pointing Fingers
FCA directs a firm finger of blame at Yanfeng, condemning their design of the manual parking release covers. They argue that Yanfeng had agreed to cover 75% of recall-related costs in case of a design-triggered recall.
A Family’s Ordeal: Seeking Justice
Adding to the stakes, FCA demands Yanfeng pay for their settlement with a family whose 9-year-old suffered injuries from a rolling Pacifica. This claim adds emotional weight to the already charged legal battle.
Fiat Chrysler Pacifica Recall: The Richardson Case
FCA had temporarily benched its lawsuit against Yanfeng, focusing on the Richardson v. FCA US LLC case in New York. This detour was a strategic maneuver, potentially resolving key disputes over the contentious parking release cover design.
Unresolved Tensions: The Unsettled Settlement
Despite hopes for a resolution in New York, FCA and Yanfeng couldn’t strike a deal. With the Richardson case closed, FCA shifts gears back to Michigan, determined to press its claims.
Fiat Chrysler Pacifica Recall: Counting Costs
FCA’s fiscal footprint in this recall drama is substantial, with $5.8 million spent on safety recall administration. The undisclosed sum paid to the Richardsons adds another layer of financial complexity.
Legal Eagles: The Representation Roster
The legal battlefield is set, with Jay M. Berger of Clark Hill PLC championing Fiat Chrysler. In Yanfeng’s corner are Marc L. Newman, Eric J. Minch of The Miller Law Firm PC, and Ann Marie Uetz, Nicholas J. Ellis of Foley & Lardner LLP.