The Consumer Product Safety Commission took a highly unusual step on July 7, 2021. The Commission voted to initiate legal processes to force the recall of a certain line of home elevators. As of this time, at least eight children have been crushed to death in elevator accidents involving home lifts manufactured by ThyssenKrupp Access.
Recalls of the type the Commission is attempting to force normally are undertaken voluntarily by a manufacturer like ThyssenKrupp Access. ThyssenKrupp Access is a wholly owned subsidiary of a German company called ThyssenKrupp. The elevators manufacturer has been fighting the Commission for years over the agency’s attempt to voluntarily compel the conglomerate to fix what is deemed to be a defect in the elevators that have resulted in the horrific deaths of multiple children in the United States.
Home Elevator Design Defect that Persisted for Generations
The specific design defect that is believed to be responsible for the tragic deaths and injuries of numerous children is nothing new. The elevator industry has been well aware of the design defect in certain elevators, including those manufactured by ThyssenKrupp Access for use in homes.
The elevators in question have a narrow gap between the pair of doors that front a lift compartment. The gap is wide enough that children can slip between the doors and fall underneath a moving elevator car. At least eight children have ended up crushed underneath an elevator car after slipping through the gap.
Deaths and Injuries Persist Unabated
Because no action has been taken to correct the long-standing defect in the elevator design, the death toll continues to mount. As noted a moment ago, at least eight children have been crushed to death in elevator accidents because of this design flaw. At least two other children were seriously injured in elevator accidents that arose out of this design defect.
Elevator safety experts maintain that the recorded death toll associated with children falling through the gap and being crushed to death is significantly lower than the actual mortality rate. These experts make note there is no central reporting requirement for deadly accidents of this nature.
Easy Fix for Deadly Design Defect
Of course, nothing is more shocking that children being killed in elevator accidents because of a design defect. With that said, there is another truly startling and horrifying aspect to the ThyssenKrupp Access elevator accident matter. The design defect can be easily fixed. The lives of children can be saved with ease and without an investment of a significant amount of money to redesign to the defective elevators. All that needs to be done is for a simple barrier to be installed to close the gap.
ThyssenKrupp Access has been well aware of what needs to be done to correct the defect in their elevators. However, ThyssenKrupp Access has objected to ongoing requests from the Consumer Product Safety Commission for years to correct the deadly problem. The company has done absolutely nothing to remedy the defect despite being fully aware of the problem for years.
Huge Number of Residential Elevators May be at Risk
As of 2021, there is no exact data on the number of defective elevators installed in homes in the United States. What is known is that ThyssenKrupp Access has installed over 16,000 residential elevators since 2012. A considerable percentage of these elevators are thought to have the deadly design defect.
There is a growing belief that the actual number of defective elevators is extremely high. The reason for this is because ThyssenKrupp Access has been trying to quietly fix defective elevators without the public finding out what the company has been doing.
If you’ve been injured in an elevator accident, or if you’ve lost a family member in an elevator accident, The Doan Law Firm and its team of experienced, dedicated attorneys is here for you. You can connect with an elevator accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm by calling us at (800) 349-0000. Our elevator accident attorney hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including all major holidays.
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