Owner describes horror incident with automatic soft-closing doors.
Automatic soft-close doors are a luxury feature that allows drivers to exit their car gracefully and, in most cases, pain-free. A gentle nudge is all that's required to secure the door shut. However, the owner of a Jaguar XJR has alleged that the mechanism caused him to lose a thumb.
According to Car Complaints, New Jersey resident Ted Levy bought a 2016 XJRL equipped with this feature and for the first year of ownership had zero issues. And then it happened.
In August 2018, Levy was driving with his wife and a friend when he parked the car and all three exited. As he was doing so, the soft-close automatic door closed on his right thumb. It wasn't a pretty sight, to say the least.
The lawsuit he subsequently filed against Jaguar Land Rover described in detail what happened. "The soft-close automatic mechanism and motor pulled the driver's door firmly, and not 'so softly' pulverized the bone structure, and crushed the flesh, nerves, blood vessels, tendons, and musculature of the distal portion of TED's right thumb. Plaintiff observed in horror as the door severed the upper portion of his formerly fully functional right thumb."
Unfortunately, a surgeon was unable to reattach the top of Levy's thumb. He now claims simple tasks such as getting dressed and tying his shoes are more difficult than before. Even driving has become a greater challenge. The lawsuit states these automatic doors require sensors to prevent them from closing when an objected (or body part) is detected.
Troublingly, it also accuses the automaker of having known for years about a defect in these doors and did not take measures to resolve it. Levy's lawsuit even goes so far as describing the soft-close automatic door technology as a "modern-day guillotine." This is no doubt a disturbing situation and it's extremely painful just to think about, let alone go through.
However, Levy's case appears to be an isolated incident. It isn't a class-action lawsuit involving several other victims. Could he be the only one who lost a fingertip by not moving his hand away from the closing door in time? For now, that appears to be the case.