In Florida, a Maine couple is suing Mitsubishi Motors for the death of their son. Donna and Peter Laliberte are accusing the auto manufacturing giant of covering up defect flaws in its Montero Sport line, which resulted in the tragic death of 25-year-old Scott Laliberte.
About the Case
Laliberte was killed while riding in a 2000 Montero Sport in September 2004 on Interstate 95 in Brevard County, Florida. His friend had been driving the SUV when the single-vehicle rollover accident occurred. Laliberte’s parents allege in their lawsuit that their son was partially ejected from the motor vehicle during the rollover accident because the seat recliner mechanism and seat belt both had inherent flaws.
Did Mitsubishi Cover-Up Defects?
Halfway through the 2000 model year, Mitsubishi had introduced a new 2000 Montero Sport. The automaker wanted to fix certain flaws detected during crash tests. Mitsubishi, however, did not report the flaws. Mitsubishi’s reputation took a beating that year after admitting it had spent decades covering up auto defects and try to secretly repair the problems without issuing recalls. Dozens of motor vehicle accidents occurred because of these defects.
The manufacturer giant admits that it incorporated a 10-inch loop into the seat belt of the newer 2000 Montero Sport to better protect passengers because the original stitching came loose during a crash test. Mitsubishi, however, maintains that the original 2000 Montero Sport did not have problems with the seat or seat belt.
The Dangers of Defective Seat Belts
Seat belts—when used and used correctly—can save lives. However, a seat belt system that is poorly made or defective can sometimes be the difference between life and death for the person using the flawed seat belt. Thousands of people die every year because an auto manufacturer did not fulfill its obligation to consumers by designing a seat belt system that works.
Common Seat Belt Defects Include:
- Torn or Ripped Webbing: A flaw in the webbing of the seat belt allows it to rip apart during an accident.
- Inertial Unlatching: A problem with the latch plate of the seat belt causes it to become unlatched during an accident
- Retractor Failure: A problem with the belt’s retractor design or during manufacturing prevents it from locking and properly securing the passenger.
For over 20 years, our products liability law firm has represented many families and individuals against some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact The Gilbert Law Group, P.C. today.