On March 10, 2015 Dallas-based trial attorney Marc R. Stanley filed a class action lawsuit against Toyota Ford and GM. The attorney claims that the aforementioned manufacturers failed to fix a defect that allows vehicles to be hacked, making drivers lose control of the car.
The problem is connected with a fault in the computer system. A hacker can disable the brakes using a laptop, thus preventing the driver from either stopping or slowing the vehicle down. Electronic control units (ECUs) in modern vehicles are connected via a controller area network called CAN or CAN bus. The ECUs send CAN packets to one another; these are digital messages that contain small amounts of data. Hence, if a hacker manages to send CAN packets to the ECUs, he can take control of the certain vehicle functions including acceleration, steering and braking.
According to Marc R. Stanley, the manufacturers knew about the problem and about the risks it would pose long ago. The class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lead attorney explained that Toyota, Ford and GM have deliberately hidden risks related to the computer systems in order to mislead consumers.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conducted a research in 2013 finding that researchers could make cars “suddenly accelerate, turn, (and) kill the brakes.” This means that the defect really threatens the physical wellness of drivers and the occupants of those vehicles. DARPA also reported the findings to the manufacturers who did not do anything to fix the problem, though.
Owners of the defective vehicles expressed their fear concerning the possibility a situation where hackers could seize the control of their vehicles when in motion. They think that the manufacturers should have informed them about the dangers the system could pose. Hence, among other claims that plaintiffs of the class action lawsuit bring about, Toyota, Ford and GM are charged with fraud, deceitful advertising, and violation of consumer rights.
The Margarian Law Firm also deals with Lemon Law cases and complex class action litigations. If you or a loved one got a defective vehicle that the manufacturer or the dealership do not or cannot repair, then you should contact an experienced Lemon Law lawyer. The Margarian Law Firm inCalifornia handles Lemon Law and auto dealer fraud cases. So, if you think you need a free case evaluation and further legal help, then pick up your phone and call us at (818) 553-1000.