(SAN BERNARDINO, Ca., Feb 26, 2016)- The family members of two Los Angeles men killed in a fiery explosion of a gas tank in a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee are suing the auto giant, Fiat Chrysler for wrongful death.
Rosalio Munoz-Reyes and Juventino Diaz-Hernandez were driving home from work on January 22, 2015 when their vehicle experienced a mechanical failure and came to a stop in traffic lanes on State Route 60 in Ontario, CA. While waiting for help, another car rear-ended the Jeep and it immediately burst into flames. The fire quickly engulfed the vehicle, trapping both Reyes and Hernandez who burned to death inside the car.
"This crash was survivable and these men would still be alive today if it wasn't for the fuel-fed fire caused by damage to a defective gas tank," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Christine D. Spagnoli partner with the Santa Monica law firm, Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP.
This product liability lawsuit filed this week in San Bernardino Superior Court highlights a growing number of fatalities that involve Jeeps suspected of having defective fuel systems that when damaged, lead to fuel-fed fires.
According to the Center for Auto Safety, since June 2013 there have been 47 deaths in fatal fire crashes in Jeeps investigated by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), which led to partial recalls of some models.
Auto safety advocates are urging the Department of Transportation to reopen the Jeep fuel tank investigation into the risk of death or injury from post accident collisions fuel-fed fires in the 1999-2004 model Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles.
"We hope this lawsuit will help shed more light on this lethal defect in an effort to hold Fiat Chrysler accountable for its dangerously defective product so that no other motorist will have to die in this most horrifying way," said plaintiff attorney Arnoldo Casillas with the Montobello law firm, Casillas & Associates.
Both Mr. Casillas and Ms. Spagnoli, represent the surviving family members of Rosalio Munoz-Reyes and Juventino Diaz-Hernandez.