Common Vehicle Defects That May Give Rise to a Product Liability Lawsuit
Cars are an essential form of transport, and car owners reasonably expect their vehicles to be safe and reliable during travel. This expectation comes from the requirements placed on auto manufacturers to safety test vehicles and correct design flaws prior to production. Even with these safety requirements, some auto parts are discovered to be defective after vehicles have become available for consumer purchase. In these cases, the auto manufacturers are responsible for issuing recalls and either removing vehicles from the market or providing dealerships with the necessary replacement parts. Even with these precautions, individuals are not entirely prevented from purchasing and driving defective vehicles.
Vehicles manufactured and sold with parts which malfunction, fail, or do not operate as intended increase the risk of injury to drivers, passengers, and other individuals on the roadway. Our Birmingham product liability attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk represent auto accident victims whose injuries were caused by vehicle defects. We are here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
6 Common Vehicle Defects That May Result in a Product Liability Lawsuit
Auto manufacturers are required to abide by stringent safety standards for all stages of design, manufacturing, and production of their products. In cases where manufacturers fail to meet these standards, and someone is injured as a result, there is potential for a product liability lawsuit. Here are some common vehicle defects that may give rise to a product liability lawsuit.
1. Defective Brakes
Auto accidents resulting from brake failure or malfunction can be catastrophic. A vehicle with a defective braking system can leave the driver unable to control their speed or bring their vehicle safely to a stop, increasing the risk of a serious collision.
2. Defective Steering Components
Defective steering wheel components can cause a steering wheel to jerk, slip, or lock suddenly while driving, making the steering system unresponsive to the driver’s control. If a driver is unable to effectively navigate their vehicle, the likelihood of a collision is increased.
3. Issues with the Accelerators
A defective accelerator system can cause a vehicle to suddenly speed out of the driver’s control. In some cases, this occurs due to a defect in the acceleration pedal, which causes it to stick and the vehicle to subsequently increase to a dangerous level of speed . Driving at high speeds is incredibly dangerous, and even more so when the driver has lost control and is unable to decelerate or bring their vehicle to a stop.
4. Tires Prone to Sudden Blowouts
As well as vehicle components, tires are subject to manufacturing defects and can contribute to auto accidents and injury. Like in auto manufacturing, tires are standard tested for safety, but defects in design, manufacturing and production can still occur. Defective tires can suddenly deflate or separate while driving, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicle while on the roadway.
5. Airbags That Fail to Deploy
Airbags are designed to keep the driver and occupants safe in the event of an accident by acting as a cushion. However, when airbags fail to deploy during an accident, a driver or an occupant may sustain severe injuries or death. Air bags depend on crash sensors to initiate deployment during an impact. When these sensors are defective or otherwise fail to function properly, airbags can be prevented from deploying during a collision.
6. Malfunctioning Seatbelts
Seatbelts can save lives during accidents, but malfunctioning seatbelts can lead to severe injuries or death. A faulty seatbelt could lock up during a car accident, leaving the occupant trapped inside, or unlatch and allow an individual to be thrown from the vehicle.
Statute of Limitations for a Product Liability Lawsuit
Under Alabama law, victims who sustained injuries due to defects can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer or another responsible party within two years from when the claim accrues (Code of Alabama § 6-2-38).
Injured in a Crash Caused by a Vehicle Defect? Contact Goldasich, Vick & Fulk
Preventing vehicle defects from causing injury is a shared responsibility among automobile manufacturers, licensed dealerships, and drivers. If you get involved in an accident caused by a vehicle defect, a knowledgeable attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable and seek compensation. Our attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 205-731-2566 to set up a case review.