Product Liability Law
Suit Says Defect in Cruise Control May Have Sparked Blaze that Destroyed Trailer Home
Posted Sep 27, 2011 5:00 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Chicago-area woman claims in a lawsuit that the cruise control system in a parked Ford F-150 may have started a blaze that burned down her family’s trailer home.
The suit, filed on behalf of Guadalupe Mendez of Aurora, Ill., claims a flaw in the truck’s cruise control may have started the fire, the Courier News reports. According to the Kane County lawsuit, electrical current runs to the cruise control switch on some Ford vehicles even when they are turned off. The system can overheat and start fires in parked cars, the suit alleges.
Mendez moved with her two sons into her brother’s home after the fire and then lost her job. At the time of the fire, she says, “I lost all my dreams.” She has since found an apartment and a new job.
Mendez is represented by Aurora lawyer Bob Motta. “We’re not trying to make her a millionaire—we’re just trying to get her back to where she was,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Ford Motor Co. declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper.