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History of BorgWarner Inc. and Consolidated Subsidiaries
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BorgWarner is a multinational company founded in 1928. It was the result of a merger between Borg & Beck, a company that produced carburetors, and Warner Gear. The company became known as BorgWarner Inc. and Consolidated Subsidiaries in 1987.
BorgWarner manufacturers multiple automotive industry parts and components, among them transmissions and component parts, including clutches. For many years, BorgWarner clutches contained asbestos.
With 60 manufacturing facilities across the world, BorgWarner counts all three American automakers as customers and supplies parts to manufacturers of original equipment in Europe and Asia. Two of their facilities were located in Upstate New York: one in Cortland and another in Ithaca. It is now one of the companies considered involved in the asbestos-mesothelioma issue.
BorgWarner in Cortland, New York
BorgWarner had a plant in Cortland, NY, which began a shutdown process in March 2012, resulting in the loss of 158 jobs. The plant produced auto-transmission components.
BorgWarner in Ithaca, New York
The Morse Chain company, which would join the newly-formed Borg-Warner Corporation in 1929, built an 80,000 square foot plant in Ithaca in 1906. At the time, automobile chain was manufactured there. The plant saw significant expansion and modernization over the years and today, BorgWarner is one of the largest employers in Ithaca, where it produces transmission and engine timing components.
Automotive Transmission Components and Asbestos
Auto transmission components include parts made with asbestos. An automatic transmission consists of small metal rings known as friction clutches housed with gears in a metal transmission band.
Each friction clutch is covered with a clutch plate made from heat-resistant friction paper, often containing asbestos. Linings were bonded to the interior of the transmission band and made from the same friction paper. Asbestos was also used in manual transmission clutch plates.
Asbestos friction paper was cut, pressed, and shaped and then placed on components. BorgWarner did not manufacture the friction paper used in its Cortland transmission component facility but purchased the paper from companies like Armstrong World Industries and Mead Corporation. BorgWarner was the largest producer of transmission friction components.
Diseases Caused by Asbestos Exposure
When exposed to asbestos you face increased risk of developing lung diseases that include mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a cancer typically found in the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart.
There is also a risk of second-hand exposure to asbestos, as workers often carried asbestos fibers into their homes as they returned from work. Family members have been found to develop asbestos-related disease as a result.
Mesothelioma has a long latency period and victims typically fall ill 15-60 years after asbestos exposure. Because of this disease symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and lack of appetite, may be mistakenly associated with other conditions. If you experience any mesothelioma symptoms and have a history of asbestos exposure, seek immediate medical evaluation.
What to Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
The nationally-recognized mesothelioma lawyers of Belluck & Fox, LLP has over two decades of experience representing victims of mesothelioma andlung cancer caused by asbestos exposure at work. For years, the New York mesothelioma attorneys of Belluck & Fox, LLP have represented Upstate New York families in lawsuits against manufacturers that failed to warn about the dangers of asbestos.
We are familiar with the companies that supplied asbestos to BorgWarner facilities in Cortland and Ithaca. To learn how we can assist you with your claim against an asbestos company, please visit our NYC office for a free case review.