For years, vehicle crashworthiness attorneys and experts refused to handle roof crush cases involving convertible vehicles. Their rationale was simple; There were no alternative designs available that would have prevented or minimized the crush into the survival space.
In 1989, Mercedes Benz developed a pop-up roll bar system for it’s 2-door convertible that was triggered by two distinct sensing mechanisms. The first, a mercury switch on the rear differential and second, a sensor on each wheel that sensed if two wheels on the same side had lifted off of the ground.
By 1997, several other vehicle manufacturers had designs that provided rollover protection for convertible users. Instead of using a pop-up roll bar BMW, Saab, Volvo and Audi used a pyrotechnic head restraint that depolyed upward 12 inches.
Other vehicle manufacturers used a high back reinforced seat structure as a rollover protection system.
Still others used a fixed mounted roll bar that was covered so as to blend into the design of the vehicle.
Each of these designs were implemented to replace the B and C pillars that are removed when a convertible is built.
Testing of these ROPS (rollover protection systems) has shown that these designs provide resonable crashworthiness protection during a rollover.
One must realize however, that several convertibles still have no ROPS in place. As such, these vehicle pose an absolute risk, hazard and danger of roof crush related injuries to occupants including head, neck and asphyxia.
Convertible crashworthiness cases are now viable because of safety alternative designs exist that can prevent roof crush related injuries.
For more than two decades, The Tracy Firm has been helping to assert the rights of individuals injured in vehicle accidents due to manufacturing design defect,safety system failures, vehicle aggressiveness and vehicle crashworthiness throughout the United States.
Contact us online, or, call us today at 214-324-9000 if you or your loved ones are seriously injured in an accident.