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Family Sues Multiple Companies After Counterfeit Airbag Allegedly Causes Fatal Rental Car Accident

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Tragic Accident Raises Concerns About Rental Car Safety and Repair Practices

A recent lawsuit in Florida brought attention to the potential dangers of rental car accidents involving vehicles repaired with counterfeit parts. The family of Destiny Byasse, a young woman who tragically lost her life in a crash involving a former rental Chevrolet Malibu, is suing several companies, alleging that the use of counterfeit airbag parts and improper repairs led to her death.

5 Key Points

  • The lawsuit claims that a rental Chevy Malibu was totaled and repaired with counterfeit airbag parts before being sold to a private individual.
  • Destiny Byasse, the driver of the Malibu, died in a crash allegedly due to a counterfeit airbag that shot shrapnel throughout the car.
  • The repair shop allegedly cut the wires of the front driver’s seat seatbelt tensioner instead of replacing or fixing it properly.
  • The plaintiffs believe that Ms. Byasse would have survived the crash had the seat belt and airbag been repaired correctly or the car taken out of service.
  • The family’s attorneys believe that this issue may be widespread among former rental vehicles now in the public’s hands.

The Allegations Against Multiple Companies

The lawsuit, filed by the law firm Morgan & Morgan on behalf of Destiny Byasse’s family, alleges that several companies share the blame for her death. According to the suit, Enterprise Rent-A-Car sent the Chevy Malibu to auction after it was involved in a crash. The vehicle was then sold to DriveTime, but Jumbo Automotive allegedly performed shoddy repairs during the transaction.

The repair shop is accused of using counterfeit airbag parts from the Chinese company Jilin and failing to properly replace or fix the front driver’s seat seatbelt tensioner, opting to cut the wires instead. This allowed the belt to function normally under regular circumstances but not in the event of a crash.

The Fatal Crash and Its Aftermath

On June 11, 2023, Destiny Byasse was involved in a crash while driving the repaired Chevy Malibu. The lawsuit alleges that she died because the counterfeit airbag shot metal and plastic shrapnel throughout the car, with some fragments striking her in the face, head, and neck. The plaintiffs believe that Ms. Byasse would have survived the crash had the seat belt and airbag been appropriately repaired or the car taken out of service altogether before being sold to her.

The family is suing Enterprise, Jumbo Automotive, Jilin, Manheim Auctions, and DriveTime, claiming that Enterprise had a duty to remove the vehicle from service rather than repair and resell it. However, proving that Enterprise knew of the counterfeit parts may be challenging, as private parties and companies regularly repair badly damaged vehicles.

Widespread Concerns and Consumer Awareness

The attorneys representing Ms. Byasse’s family believe that this issue may be shockingly widespread. Rental car companies resell damaged vehicles, and auto repair shops install cheap, non-compliant parts from Chinese companies while cutting corners during the repair process to resell vehicles quickly.

Andrew Parker Felix, an attorney at Morgan & Morgan, stated, “Consumers need to be aware of these tactics used to save money, increase profits, and keep vehicles on the road when they pose a severe danger. We will work to hold all parties responsible for our client’s tragic death and hope to stop these companies from engaging in such ruthless and deadly business practices.”

This case raises serious concerns about the safety of former rental vehicles and the potential dangers posed by improper repairs and counterfeit parts. As the lawsuit progresses, it may shed light on the extent of this issue and prompt changes in how rental car companies and repair shops handle damaged vehicles.

 

FAQ

Q. Do you qualify for a Car Accident lawsuit?

A. To see if you qualify, click here.

Q. What is the lawsuit about?

A. The lawsuit alleges that a former rental Chevy Malibu, repaired with counterfeit airbag parts and improper seatbelt tensioner repairs, led to the death of Destiny Byasse in a crash due to airbag malfunction.

Q. Who is being sued in this case?

A. The family is suing Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jumbo Automotive, Jilin (a Chinese company), Manheim Auctions, and DriveTime for their alleged roles in the improper repair and sale of the vehicle.

Q. What do the plaintiffs claim about the repair shop’s actions?

A. The plaintiffs allege that Jumbo Automotive used counterfeit airbag parts and failed to adequately replace or fix the front driver’s seat seatbelt tensioner, instead cutting the wires.

Q. What do the attorneys believe about the extent of this issue?

A. The attorneys representing Ms. Byasse’s family believe that the use of counterfeit parts and improper repairs in former rental vehicles may be a widespread issue affecting vehicles now in the hands of the public.

Q. According to the family’s attorney, What is the lawsuit’s goal?

A. The family’s attorney stated that they aim to hold all parties responsible for Ms. Byasse’s tragic death and hope to stop companies from engaging in dangerous business practices that prioritize profits over safety.

 

Citations:

Rivers, S. (2024, June 9). Lawsuit claims ex-rental Chevy Malibu repaired with counterfeit parts before fatal crash. Carscoops. https://www.carscoops.com/2024/06/lawsuit-alleges-rental-chevy-malibu-was-illegally-repaired-and-sold-before-tragic-fatal-accident/

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