If Kevin Hart Is Sued Over Lack of Modern Safety Equipment In an Old Car - Does That Set a Precedent for Future Lawsuits?
By now, you surely know that The 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that Kevin Hart commissioned from Speedkore has been crashed. Hart was, reportedly, not the driver and for now we don’t know exactly what happened until a full investigation comes forth, but it looks like he’s still staring down the barrel of yet another lawsuit. Yup; despite the fact that Hart wasn’t driving the car when it crashed, the two passengers in the car, one of which was also seriously injured, could actually file a lawsuit for negligence against Hart because the car didn’t have safety equipment.
The lack of safety equipment comes into question because the car was so powerful – 720 horsepower to be exact. And, as such, lawyers are claiming that the car should have had numerous pieces of safety equipment including but not limited to five-point safety harnesses, airbags, and a roll cage. Hart could, in theory, also turn around and sue the company that tuned the car for selling him a car without what some claim to be required safety equipment. Now, this raises the question of future precedent that leaves tuning and custom car companies, as well as owners of said cars, liable in the future. Here’s some food for thought.
Should All Cars Have Modern Safety Equipment?
Regardless of the fact that the driver at the wheel of that 1970 Barracuda should, probably, be liable for driving like an idiot – if that’s the case – a lot of folks are claiming that Hart should be liable for the injuries caused by the accident….
A man that wasn’t driving, mind you. Sounds like a money snatch from a celebrity to me, but that’s an argument for another time. The question at hand is whether or not tuned cars… or even classic cars…. should be fitted with modern safety equipment despite the fact that –on classic cars, at least – it could compromise value and originality.
Should any of these lawsuits against Hart actually be filed, it could actually set a precedent that would, essentially require classic cars or custom cars to have things like airbags, safety harnesses, and the like. Could this even lead to owners being forced to add shoulder belts to classic cars that were originally equipped with nothing more than lap belts? On the other end of the spectrum, a lawsuit against the tuning company could force each and every one of them to alter these classic cars to include such equipment even if the owner doesn’t want it.
But, it could go even deeper than that.
Forcing Autonomous Tech on Classic Car Owners?
Any of these lawsuits could open the door to other ridiculous lawsuits. What if you’re driving your third-gen Camaro and accidentally rear-end someone? Well, if the right precedent is set – and it could be – it could be possible for you to be sued because you were driving an “unsafe car” that didn’t have autonomous emergency braking. See where this is going? It could even go so deep that someone could run head-on into you and then sue you because your headlights or running lights aren’t up to modern safety spec. Let that sink in for a minute. Seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Well, sorry to tell you folks, but these lawsuits could be filed in California of all places, and you know what that means – the liberal states of liberal states will, probably, introduce some sort of legislation requiring older cars to be fitted with all kinds of safety equipment that didn’t come standard and likely wasn’t available when the car was produced. Imagine being forced to equip your cherry, all-original 1969 Mustang with all these annoying nannies just so that it can be considered road legal.
The right legislation could even force you to install modernized headlights and markers, revises safety belts, and the like.
Automakers may even be forced to start including racing harnesses and roll cages in cars that go beyond a certain horsepower rating.
I know it all sounds a little bit ridiculous, but lawsuits against Kevin Hart or the tuning company that built customized his now-crashed Barracuda could ultimately change the classic car world as we know it. It could be the top of a very slippery slope and, should things go south in court, you might want to be a lot more careful about where, when, how, and who you drive your classic or tuned car with – you just might end up losing your ass over something stupid.
|Engine||5.4-liter V-8 engine|
|Top Speed||204 km/h (127 mph)|
|0 to 60 mph||6.8 seconds|
Read our full review on the 1964-1974 Plymouth Barracuda.