NHTSA is investigating three reports of gas pedals getting stuck under floor mats in 2010 Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans.
AP is reporting that a Ford spokesperson points to drivers stacking floor mats on top of floor mats as the cause of the problem. In anticipation of this absurd practice, Ford already has warnings on their all-weather mats advising customers not to pile them and to secure them properly to the floor.
Assuming for a second this is not just Ford’s spin on the case, it would certainly seem to bar any plaintiff’s lawsuit if the real cause of the accident is the stacking of floor mats. Placing proper warnings on a product is so incredibly important. But unnecessary and obvious warnings like this just dilute the important messages that should be on warnings.
Certainly, everyone will blame mass tort lawyers because Ford had to put on ridiculous warnings to protect them from frivolous lawsuits. Please. Fending off frivolous lawsuits is a drop in the bucket for a company like Ford. Holding products liability lawyers responsible for Ford’s overreaction is misplaced. Ford can blithely rely on a “do not stack mats” warning because it does not cost them market share. But when you put on a “Hey, this thing is real likely to rollover if you get a little crosswind” does cost market share. Spare me the useless warnings and tell me what I really need to know about the safety risks of your product.