Defective Automobile Parts

Manufacturers are required to design and produce automobiles and auto parts that meet certain safety standards. Continual breakthroughs in technology and extensive research and development by auto engineers have resulted in safer vehicles that are also easier to drive. In spite of this, there are situations where an auto part may malfunction and may either cause a car accident or may increase the severity of injury that a vehicle occupant experiences in a collision. Some examples may include:
  • An airbag that does not deploy in a collision or that deploys unnecessarily
  • A seatbelt that causes injury to the wearer because it is improperly designed
  • A defective seatbelt release that causes a driver or passenger to become trapped in a vehicle
  • A braking system that fails, making it impossible for a driver to avoid a collision
  • Defective steering or suspension systems
  • In the event of a vehicle rollover, a roof that is poorly designed and caves in on the driver and passengers
  • A defective door latch that causes an occupant to become trapped in a vehicle
  • Gas tank explosions
  • Tire blowouts and tread separation
  • Vehicle rollovers involving top-heavy vehicles such as SUVs or trucks

Tire Blowouts, Faulty Brakes and Equipment Malfunction: Defective and Dangerous Auto Parts

In some cases, manufacturers may be held strictly liable for injuries caused by defective products. They have a legal obligation to design and manufacture vehicles that are safe and "crashworthy", meaning they will protect the occupants in the event of a collision. If manufacturers fail to uphold this obligation, the injured party or parties may be able to take legal action.

If a defective auto part caused an accident or increased the severity of injury that a driver or passenger experienced, this may provide grounds for a product liability lawsuit. It will be necessary to prove: the product was defective, the plaintiff was injured, and the defect was the proximate (probable, most likely) cause of the plaintiff's injuries. It will also be necessary to prove that the plaintiff experienced quantifiable injuries, in terms of medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional trauma, etc.

Bringing a lawsuit against an automobile manufacturer may present serious problems for a victim who is not represented by an attorney. The manufacturer may have an attorney or team of attorneys of their own that handle claims of this nature, working to limit their accountability. An aggressive approach by an experienced lawyer may make a considerable difference in the speed with which a claim is handled as well as the value of the settlement or jury award that the plaintiff receives.

Click here to find a car accident lawyer in your area who may be able to help you with an auto product liability claim.