Every year there are nearly 40,000 fatalities in the U.S. due to car accidents. Most of these accidents are due to negligence, improper driving, dangerous road conditions, or vehicular malfunction, and almost all of these accidents could be prevented.

Vehicular malfunction accounts for a huge portion of automobile accidents. Car recalls have increased in the past 10 years as cars have become more complex and more susceptible to technical malfunctions.

Toyota, the world's largest car manufacturer "by production," has recalled over 14 million cars in the past 3 years, the most notable recall involving its hybrid Prius. The "unintended acceleration" issues, which led to a few accidents and deaths, sparked a nation-wide outcry for vehicle manufacturer accountability. To date, more than 80 lawsuits have been brought against Toyota for their "sticky floormats."

Ford Settles for $73 Million in Rollover Suit

A Sacramento jury ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay $73 million to the two people injured and to the family of one person who was killed in the 2004 rollover accident in Fair Oaks, Calif. The accident was caused by a tire blow-out after the tread separated from one of the vehicle's (a 15-passenger Econoline van) Goodyear tires. The jury found Ford, who had insisted that Goodyear was responsible, "59%" responsible for the accident after it was discovered that Goodyear contacted the motor company about its tire-separation issues, and Ford did nothing to warn consumers of the possible dangers.

Of the $73 million, $50 million were awarded to the victims in punitive damages. The rest of the reparations are scheduled to be divided amongst the victims for medical expenses, etc.