The day of the accident, Roberta was driving to the mall in her Ford Expedition, a vehicle she had bought less than 30 days earlier. The accelerator on her SUV malfunctioned. When she tried to brake, the vehicle kept going. "I was practically standing on my brake and it wouldn't stop," she says. The malfunction resulted in Roberta's vehicle rear-ending two others and almost caused a death. "There was a young girl in the backseat of the car. I think she stopped breathing; thankfully she received medical attention in time. The mother was pretty banged up, too."
Roberta also sustained injuries, though none were life-threatening. She broke her ankle and injured her lower back. Unfortunately, her recovery meant she needed nine months off work. Her employers replaced her, and Roberta was out of a job. It took her over a year to find a new job.
Although Roberta's insurance paid the Medicaid, nothing else was covered. She still needs surgery on her ankle, and as a result of the break in her right ankle, her left hip has developed arthritis. "I have to wear an ankle brace every day. Some days, I can't walk at all," she says.
The Ford Expedition was taken to a repair shop. When he tested the accelerator, the mechanic found it stuck for him too, so he knew something was wrong with it. He verified that the problem was with the accelerator and there was nothing Roberta could have done to prevent the accident. Unfortunately, the mechanic couldn't figure out why the accelerator stuck. The vehicle was sent to Ford, where it was repaired, but that was all Ford would do to help Roberta. They claim that since the vehicle was bought through CarMax.com, Ford is not responsible for any defects, or any claims resulting from those defects.
Meanwhile, Roberta has found another job, but is still dealing with pain. "I've lost so much. I can't get anything back because the case is so hard to prove. It's terrible. It's been so hard. It seems there's nothing that can be done, at least by myself."