Ford Counsel and Huie Published in Journal of Law and Mobility

“Let’s Be Reasonable: The Consumer Expectations Test is Simply Not Viable to Determine Design Defect for Complex Autonomous Vehicle Technology”; Journal of Law and Mobility

August 15, 2019



Emily Frascaroli, Managing Counsel of Product Litigation for Ford Motor Company and Journal of Law and Mobility Contributing Editor

John Isaac Southerland

Elizabeth Davis

Woods Parker



Although highly automated vehicles (“HAVs”) have potential to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes, product liability litigation for design defects in vehicles incorporating autonomous technology is inevitable. During the early stages of implementation, courts and juries will be forced to grapple with the application of traditional product liability principles to a never before experienced category of highly technical products. Recent decisions limiting the use of the consumer expectations test in cases involving complex products prompted the authors to examine more closely the history behind and the future viability of the consumer expectations test in HAV litigation.

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This article first appeared in the Journal of Law and Mobility, a University of Michigan Law School publication.  This journal serves as a new resource for scholarship, analysis, and information concerning law and the brave new world of connected and automated vehicles and new mobility concepts.