The United States Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the family of a woman killed in a car accident should be permitted to bring suit against Mazda Motor Corp. alleging that the death was caused by the failure of Mazda to install three-point seatbelts in its 1993 MPV minivan.
Here are the questions presented in the case:
1. Where Congress has provided that compliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard “does not exempt a person from liability at common law,” 49 U.S.C. § 30103(e), does a federal minimum safety standard allowing vehicle manufacturers to install either lap-only or lap/shoulder seatbelts in certain seating positions preempt a state common-law claim alleging that the manufacturer should have installed a lap/shoulder belt in one of those seating positions?