Here is a sampling of some of the highest jury verdicts against automakers in product liability suits
Robinson et al. vs. Ford Motor Co., Mississippi
July 1998: The 19-year-old driver and one passenger in a 1988 Ford Ranger were killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident. The plaintiffs said Ford knew the Ranger was prone to roll over and concealed the danger from the public.
Moseley vs. General Motors, Georgia
February 1993: A 17-year-old boy was killed when his 1985 GMC Sierra exploded after it was struck by another car. The plaintiffs contended the truck's fuel tanks were located in a hazardous position outside the vehicle's frame rails. A former GM engineer testified that the company knew the side-saddle fuel tanks were dangerous.
Robert McGee et al. vs. General Motors, Florida
May 1998: A boy was killed when the 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass wagon in which he was riding was struck by a runaway trailer. The impact punctured the car's fuel tank and the vehicle exploded. The boy's mother, father and sister were burned and disfigured in the accident.
Bibbs vs. Toyota Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A Inc., Georgia
October 1994: A 36-year-old woman was rendered comatose for life after the seat belt in the 1986 Toyota van she was driving popped open during an accident. The woman was ejected from the vehicle.
David Rogers vs. Volkswagen of America Inc. et al., California
January 1991: A 34-year-old man was rendered a quadriplegic when a car wheel that had detached from a 1969 Volkswagen Fastback struck the roof of the Acura Integra he was driving. VW was cleared in the case, and liability was split among Acura, the state of California and the VW's driver.