Several Florida residents were part of a class-action lawsuit against an automobile manufacturer and its subsidiary. Their complaint alleged that injuries and damages caused by an engine defect, which resulted in numerous cars suddenly emitting smoke and flames. Some plaintiffs suffered harm and also had to replace their vehicles. 

As reported by WKMG-TV News 6, at least four million vehicles may have the same engine design defect, and the manufacturers agreed to a class-action settlement of more than $700M. Some participants may receive vehicle software installations or upgrades, complimentary repairs and lifetime warranties. 

Engines produced with a certain gasoline direct injection unit purportedly had a flaw that caused vehicles to stop working correctly and, in many instances, burst into flames. Various plaintiffs claimed to have suffered injuries while operating their vehicles, which then reportedly failed. Other vehicle owners saw their parked cars catch fire in front of them. 

Automakers allegedly knew of engine defect 

The plaintiffs argued that the company manufactured the engines using negligent processes and that its production lacked oversight. Employees also reportedly knew of a material defect in the engines, but the manufacturer failed to warn consumers of the possible dangers. 

Manufacturer owes a duty to warn 

Generally, a manufacturer of a potentially dangerous product, such as a motor vehicle, owes a duty of care to warn purchasers of any possibility of harm, hazards or injuries. A visible warning label that clearly communicates the potential for an injury to occur may meet the requirement of a sufficient warning. By not providing a warning when a manufacturer is aware of a design or defect, however, creates a breach of duty. A court may hold the company strictly liable for any injuries, repairs or replacements. 

Legal action may help recover damages 

When consumers purchase a vehicle, they trust that it is free from design defects and in safe working condition. If an injury occurs while reasonably operating a motor vehicle, a harmed individual may hold the manufacturer liable for damages.