Product Liability

Car Defects: A Result of a Car Manufacturer’s Negligence

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Product Liability | 0 comments

It is the task of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to save lives by passing and enforcing laws that will reduce road accidents and prevent anyone from getting injured in a car accident. This task is partly accomplished by the NHTSA by making sure designers and makers of cars comply with federal standards (particularly those mandated under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Systems or FMVSS) on vehicle safety and excellence. This is the federal government’s way of making sure that all manufactured car passenger vehicles, prior to leaving the manufacturing plant, are designed safely and do not contain defective parts that will put lives at risk.

Despite federal standards and the NHTSA’s implementation of laws, however, cars with defects (either in design or part) continue to be sold, making their presence on the road possible threat to road safety and turning what may be a non-injurious or non-fatal car crash into an injurious or fatal accident. The consequences of these defects are vehicle recalls, made either by the manufacturers themselves or by the NHTSA through a court order.

Over the past years, some of the various causes of recalls and the affected number of vehicles include:

  • Suspension bolt coming loose and disabling the steering column, which affected 5.8 million General Motors cars in 1981;
  • Fuel lines that cracked and spilled gasoline onto the engine, setting the vehicle on fire, which affected 11,500 Ford Escapes from Ford Motor Company;
  • Blowing tires from Firestone, which had tire treads that separated from the steel belts. About 6.5 million of these faulty tires got recalled, but after it was linked to 200 deaths;
  • Car ignition that started up by itself, which affected 7.9 million Ford vehicles manufactured between 1988 and 1993;
  • Unintended acceleration, which resulted to cars speeding up on their own. This affected the Audi 5000 in the 1980s and about 9 million 2010 Toyota car models; and,
  • Cruise Control Switches, which affected about 14.9 million Ford cars and trucks manufactured between 1991 and 2004.

Based on 2013 NHTSA records, more than 10 car manufacturers recalled as many as 22 million vehicles due to defective parts, like seat belts, tires, steering wheel, child seats, brake pads, wipers, and air bags that just deploy despite the vehicle not crashing. In 2004, though, vehicle recall hit a high of 30.8 million. Defects make car accidents one of the leading causes of serious injury and wrongful death in the United States each year, and the sad truth is, if not because of these, then far too many accidents could easily be prevented.

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Mechanical Auto Defects

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Personal Injury, Product Liability | 0 comments

Passenger vehicles are designed with safety and function in mind. When an automobile manufacturer fails to comply with federal safety standards in their vehicles, the driver of that vehicle may suffer through increased risk of a car accident. Automotive defects are expensive to fix and more costly when they defect causes an accident because a permanent injury or the life of an unsuspecting driver is priceless.

The Law Office of Charles D. Hankey states on its website that the most product liability cases for mechanical defects involve negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty by auto manufacturers. A manufacturer is responsible for the products it develops, produces, and sells to consumers. When there are defective products on the market, consumers are left at risk and with the burden of fixing the problem before becoming injured. For many, the car defect is unknown until it is too late and an accident already occurred.

An accident attorney would probably tell you that automotive defects are not entirely uncommon. Some of the most frequently reported vehicle manufacturer defects involve seat belts, brakes, tires, airbags, and child car seats. These important safety features are imperative for a driver to be safe on the road. When a defect occurs in any of the previously listed areas, a driver and their passengers could suffer head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, or even death. As such, it is a serious issue when a car is defective and that manufacturer negligence causes an accident.

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Truck Accidents Due to Truck Defect or Malfunction

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Personal Injury, Product Liability, Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Being involved in a truck accident is no joke, and it is unfortunately not rare. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, one person dies ever 13 minutes as a result of a motor accident. When it comes to truck accidents, especially those involving 18-wheelers or big rigs, the fatality is usually someone other than the truck driver. Because accidents involving large trucks are often so devastating, truck drivers in the US are held to a higher standard than other motorists. They are required to have a commercial driver’s license, and to get that the driver has to have a clean driving record.

But because truck drivers usually get paid by the distance, and carriers need to put in the mileage as well to make money, making sure that the vehicles they are driving are in good working order is not always a priority. Maintaining a big rig can be time-consuming, and safety inspections are not always carried out as thoroughly or regularly as it should be. As a result, accidents can happen because the truck malfunctioned or was defective.

Under certain circumstances, a truck defect or malfunction can be said to be the responsibility of the manufacturer. A person can sue the manufacturer for injuries sustained due to a defective part or malfunctioning vehicle. An article on the website of the Law Offices of Williams Kherkher points out that such injury can be extensive, even catastrophic, and will often justify seeking compensation.

However, product liability is limited to a defect in the manufacture, or a defect in the design. If neither of this is the case, then it is possible that the accident was due to the failure of the carrier or driver to properly maintain the vehicle. In that case, it is a personal injury case against the carrier and the driver because it was their responsibility to ensure that the vehicle did not pose a danger to other motorists.

If you are ever involved in a truck accident and sustained injuries, consult with a truck accident lawyer in your area to determine if you have grounds for a product liability or personal injury claim, or both.

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