Car Accidents Caused By Defect Or Flawed Design
There are so many potential defects or design flaws in motor vehicles that it can be hard to keep track of your own vehicle’s maintenance. But your car manufacturer plays a major role in keeping you informed, so these deadly accidents will not happen.
One of the most well-known motor vehicle product flaws is the Toyota gas pedal defect, where gas pedals in these vehicles stuck when pressed down. The resulting accidents caused substantial numbers of injuries and deaths, after cars lost control due to the stuck gas pedal. Toyota had to recall over four million vehicles. They reached a $1.1 billion consumer settlement for those injured or harmed due to the defect. Still, Toyota admitted no fault.
Airbags Causing Injury and Death
Another product liability issue related to motor vehicles is the matter of Takata airbags. These airbags were primarily installed in passenger vehicles built between 2002 and 2008. But some cars as recently as 2014 also have these airbags. The main problem with these devices was explosive deployment causing death or injury to vehicle occupants. The defect was in the airbag’s inflator. If the airbag casing ruptured upon an accident impact, metal shards also possibly sprayed from the airbag into the vehicle cabin.
More than 30 million U.S. drivers’ vehicles were recalled. These were vehicles made by ten different manufacturers, all including the Takata airbags. Eight people died and more than 100 were injured from the airbags before the recall was complete.
Airbags can fail, causing injuries or death when passengers suffer impact with internal parts of the vehicle, such as the windshield. Some deploy too forcefully or deploy when no accident has occurred, in turn causing an accident.
Brake and Tire Defects in Vehicle Accidents
Many manufacturing defects relate to brakes and tires. As far as brakes are concerned these defects usually affect rotors, drums or brake pads. These cause the brakes to fail to work as intended.
Cars with antilock brakes (ABS) are more likely to suffer fatal rollover accident than other vehicles, too. This is because braking systems are very complex. They fail for a multitude of reasons related to faulty installation or design defects. Sadly, brake defects are usually unnoticeable until the brake failure happens and an accident results.
Tires are safer today than ever before. But defects still exist in these important parts, leading to tread separation and resulting car accidents. Firestone tires on Ford Explorers contributed to injuries and deaths several years ago, leading to recall. Defective tires suddenly fail like defective brakes, giving no early signs of problems until an accident happens. When tires fail, vehicles roll over or suffer serious accidents due to lost control. Speaking with a skilled Phoenix car accident lawyer will help you to understand what to do if you are involved in an accident.
Other Common Car Defects
During a crash, seat belts keep you safe and alive. But seat belt latches can fail or a seat belt can improperly apply force causing secondary injuries upon impact. These injuries are often worse than the accident injuries, themselves.
Fuel tank design can be defective, too. Gas leaks, explosions and fires often result. Door latches have failed in accidents, causing the door to fly open during a crash and potentially ejecting passengers.
Types of Car Defects
There are two types of car defects leading to injury or death. These include design defects and manufacturing defects.
Design defects are defects where the design is faulty before the part is even manufactured. Courts examine whether the original blueprints of the part showed the defect and whether it was foreseeable that the defect could cause injury and harm to people inside the vehicle.
Manufacturing defects are defects occurring when parts are being made. These are not in the design, but in how the part manufacturing was tooled or materials used to make the part. These are complex issues because plaintiffs must show how manufacturing failed, contributing to the accident. These cases usually require the help of leading experts and testing of parts.
If you, or someone you know suffered injury in a car accident, contact an accident lawyer and product liability attorney for help.