The “High Price” of Luxury Cars and the “Cost” of Refining Oil

Sep. 7th, 2012   /   , , ,

 

When you go to buy a new car, there are lots of things to consider. Among the most important are, typically, how expensive the car is, how good the mileage on the car is, and, perhaps most vitally, how safe the car is.  There is a new report out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that has some people scratching their heads and fastening their seatbelts. The IIHS conducts crash tests for cars in addition to and independent of the crash tests overseen by government safety regulators.

Almost all new cars in recent years have received high ratings from the IIHS in a variety of crash tests, a result of auto manufacturers putting a lot of stock in the safety of their automobiles. In order to adequately assess a given vehicle’s safety, the IIHS created a new, improved, and tougher test which scores vehicles on how they fare in response to what is known as a “small overlap” impact—one in which a vehicle hits another object (car, tree, etc.) with a small fraction of the front-end bumper. Because there are over 10,000 deaths per year due to frontal crashes, and because of the danger associated with a “small overlap” crash, tests were performed on 11 models, eight of which failed the test.

What makes “small impact” crashes so dangerous is that when only a small portion of the front of the car is directly hit, the car is less able to spread the impact forces around the vehicle in a way that might help protect the driver.  The results of the tests were as follows: the Acura TL and Volvo S60 received the highest rating, “good,” the Infiniti G received “acceptable,” and the Acura TSX, the BMW 3-series, Lincoln MKZ and VW CC were given a rating of “marginal.” At the bottom of the pile were the Mercedes C-Class, the Lexus IS and EX, and the Audi A4, which all received the worst rating, that of “poor.”  Be aware that just because you are paying more for a car (such as a Mercedes, Lexus or Audi,) your safety is not necessarily guaranteed.

Speaking of price, thousands of California residents are learning about the high cost of being exposed to the negligent operation of an oil refinery. A fire broke out in an oil refinery operated by Chevron in Richmond, CA, that put in danger more than a dozen workers who were in the immediate area. The blaze of the fire tossed around heavy, black smoke and it led to thousands of people having to seek medical attention for related health issues. The fire was one of the most serious refinery outbreaks in recent times. Investigators for the federal government are looking into the cause of the giant fire and are focusing on possible corrosion of a pipe that was looked at by Chevron last year but not replaced.

Because of the company’s negligence, thousands were forced into hospitals and doctors offices, experiencing both physical pain and financial strain due to out-of-pocket medical bills and lost days of work. These innocent people suffered due to a breach of the duty of care as it pertains to Chevron operating its oil refinery. Similarly, as per the issue mentioned first in this blog, the companies behind some of the most expensive cars available are paying too little attention to the safety of their vehicles, focusing more on advertising and flash then on practicality and safety.

If you’ve experienced a loss at the hands of a major corporation, including a mammoth car manufacturer or a titan of the oil industry, you have rights that deserved to be acknowledged. For more information and a free consultation, please contact us at 561-266-9191 or email us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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