The Seven Most Common Defective Car Parts
Not all traffic injuries are caused by negligent drivers. Defective manufacturing or design can lead to serious collisions that result in injury or death. Take, for example, a blown out tire while on the highway at 70 miles per hour, or defective steering components that cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. And, other injuries are amplified when a crash occurs due to the victim’s own negligence or another driver’s careless or reckless driving. For example, a driver may have been speeding around a corner and hit a mailbox—a collision that would, under normal circumstances resulted in little to no injury at all, but because their airbag failed to deploy, they suffered serious facial injuries and a traumatic brain injury. In any of these scenarios, the victim can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer for financial compensation.
Common Automobile Manufacturing Defects That Lead to Serious Injury and Death
There are thousands of parts in every vehicle, and these parts are manufactured and designed by countless companies across the world. From defective speedometers to faulty fuel components, these auto parts can lead to serious injuries or death for victims.
- Airbags—Front and curtain airbags must perform as expected in a crash. If an airbag fails to deploy, or causes an injury due to an overly forceful deployment, the victim can sue for damages. One of the most recent and well known airbag defects is that of Takata airbags, which can deploy so explosively that they injure or kill victims, according to Consumer Reports.
- Seatbelts—Seatbelts, like airbags, have safety standards that must be met in order to properly protect occupants in a crash, and when a seatbelt fails during a crash, regardless of who is at fault, the injured occupant can file a property liability claim.
- Steerings—When steering components fail, a crash becomes almost imminent. General Motors had to recall over one million SUVs and trucks for defective steering, according to Consumer Reports. The defect caused the power steering to suddenly stop working while the vehicle was in motion, and resulted in dozens of serious collisions.
- Brakes—Brake pads, anti-lock brake systems, master cylinder, automatic braking system, and all of the other parts and components within a vehicle’s brakes can all fail, resulting in catastrophe.
- Child Seats—Children’s seats, baby seats, and booster chairs can become ejected, slide out of place, or cause crushing injuries or choking hazards for babies, toddlers, and children.
- Tires—From blow outs to poor traction, tires are one of the most common defective parts of automobiles.
- Accelerator—While less common than a defective tire or seatbelt, a manufacturing or design error of a vehicle’s accelerator can be just as deadly, if not more so. In 2014, Toyota was ordered to pay $1.2 billion for lying to consumers about a defective “unintended acceleration” defect in its vehicles, which led to multiple deaths according to ABC News.
Product Liability Claims and Strict Liability
The doctrine of strict liability pertains to most product liability claims. It states that, instead of proving that the defendant was negligent or reckless, all the plaintiff must do is prove that the product was defective and caused a dangerous condition. To qualify as a strict liability claim, you must show that the product in question had one or more of the following:
- Manufacturing defect;
- Marketing defect; or
- Design defect.
Who is Eligible to File a Defective Parts Lawsuit?
Whether you are the owner of the vehicle that had the defective part, you were an occupant of another vehicle, or you were a non occupant, such as a cyclist or pedestrian, as long as you can prove that the defective auto part lead to your injuries, you can file and win a product liability claim to be compensated for your damages. Furthermore, even if you were at fault for causing the crash, such as speeding or being distracted while driving, you can still file a lawsuit if, for example, the airbag or seatbelt failed to do their jobs to protect you in the collision. Any of the following parties, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the defect, may be eligible for filing a product liability claim:
- Driver of defective vehicle;
- Driver of non-defective vehicle who was hit by the defective vehicle;
- Occupant of either of the above vehicles;
- Pedestrian; and
Contact a Naples Automobile Product Liability Attorney For Help Today
Were you injured in a traffic collision that was caused or exacerbated by a defective auto part? To be compensated, you need to talk to an experienced Naples auto accident attorney today. Contact The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. today at 239-649-8050 to schedule a free consultation.