Vehicle Accidents Due to Defective Parts
Just about every day, there are stories in the news about vehicle accidents involving drunk, tired, or distracted drivers.
There is another common danger that can easily lead to a serious accident – motor vehicle defects. Accidents due to defective cars, trucks, SUVs, or vans are less often discussed, but just as deadly. Motor vehicles are made up of numerous complicated pieces. If any are manufactured or designed improperly, it can cause the whole machine to fail with catastrophic results.
At the Mann Law Firm, we have successfully represented victims throughout Georgia who have been seriously hurt by defective vehicle parts. We have also assisted families who have lost loved ones to defective vehicles. For over 50 years, we have been helping injured clients put their lives back on track, and we are ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next, or if you have any questions about this topic, call 478-742-3381 or submit our online form.
If it is discovered that a product is potentially dangerous, manufacturers must warn about the hazards in a timely manner. Hiding known problems, cutting corners on costs, or ignoring safety standards are unnecessary risks that jeopardize public safety. This is particularly true when the product is a two-ton machine capable of high speeds.
When it is suspected that a motor vehicle accident was caused in part or in full by a defect, the victims or their families can seek compensation by filing a products liability lawsuit. There are typically many possible defendants, such as vehicle manufacturers, parts manufacturers, parts supply stores, dealerships, and shippers. The main legal arguments in such an action are that the vehicle was defective because:
- Its design was flawed.
- Its assembly was flawed.
- There was a known danger of which consumers were not properly warned.
Common defects that increase a vehicle’s likelihood of crashing include:
- Faulty airbags
- Faulty brake systems
- Faulty electrical systems
- Faulty steering systems
- Faulty tires
- Poor structure
- Spontaneous acceleration
- Design defects that cause rollovers.
A second type of defect affects a vehicle’s crashworthiness rather than the probability of crashing. This type comes into play when an accident happens and a component either fails to protect vehicle occupants from injury or causes injury to them that otherwise would not have occurred. Examples include:
- Defective airbags
- Weak roofs
- Defective fuel systems
- Faulty window or door latches
- Faulty seatbelts.
While recalls are great in principle, in practice they leave a lot to be desired. It has been estimated that as many as one-in-six recalled vehicles are never brought in for repair, leaving millions of potentially dangerous vehicles on the road.
The term “defect” is often used in conjunction with the word “recall,” which can be issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or voluntarily by a manufacturer upon identifying a problem. A record 868 separate recalls that affected 51.2 million vehicles were issued in 2015 amid a number of high-profile problems such as Takata’s exploding air bags, General Motors’ defective ignition switches, and the emissions-test misrepresentations by Volkswagen. Past recalls have addressed sudden acceleration in 9 million Toyotas, cruise-control switches that presented risk of fire in 4.5 million Ford pickup trucks and SUVs, and separated motor mounts in over 6 million GM vehicles. Just this month, Nissan recalled over 54,000 Versas due to airbags that may deploy unexpectedly when the door is slammed shut; Mercedes-Benz recalled more than 300,000 vehicles for a possible fire hazard; and Hyundai recalled almost 978,000 cars to fix seatbelts that could detach in a crash.
Because they fail to contact an experienced attorney, many accident victims remain unaware of the true reasons for their crash and injuries. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and either you or the other driver were operating a defective car, you might have a products liability claim against certain parties as well as a negligent driving claim against the driver. At the Mann Law Firm, we thoroughly investigate and analyze all potential causes and liable parties.
We have a successful record of representing people across Georgia who have been seriously injured or killed by defective cars. If you believe a defect was responsible for your crash, call us today at 478-742-3381 or submit our online form to talk to an attorney about the details of your accident. We will help you achieve a fair settlement and, if the responsible parties are unwilling to pay such an amount, we will take your case to trial. We have extensive experience handling vehicle defect cases in Macon, Dublin, Warner Robins, Milledgeville, and throughout the state.