Lawsuits revolving around auto-defects have gained a lot of prominence in recent years. This has especially been the case over the last month in fact (As of this posting, June 2014). Cases such as those lodged against automakers like General Motors have put out, for all to see, the impact that auto defects can have on unsuspecting drivers and passengers.
Auto defects can run the gamut and vary based on severity. Severity is typically judged on whether a defect can likely lead to a serious safety danger such as malfunctions of brakes, steering capabilities, airbags, etc. Unlike most motor vehicle cases in which the defendants are individual drivers, cases involving auto defects involve finding culpability not with a particular driver but rather, with the automaker who built the car that may have been the cause of a traumatic injury or even death for all of the vehicle’s users.
Automakers are not infallible machines that produce perfectly safe cars. In many cases, automakers have at least some knowledge that their vehicles are having issues and often wait to issue a recall depending on the extent of the fault and the likely lawsuit damages from the impending defect (see fight club scene: “on a long enough time line, the survival rate of everyone falls to 0”).
In certain cases, accidental poor design can be sued for negligence, if evidence is discovered that the company knew about the defects yet chose not to recall or disclose them to consumers.
History has shown us a large sample of successful auto defect cases, sometimes even class-action lawsuits. You may remember the infamous Ford Pinto and Firestone wheel cases in the 90s, or heard of an auto-defect letter you friend received in the mail about being compensated for a car repair issue for your car model and type.
Auto Defect Liable Parties
Certain cases involve different types of people along the car industry supply chain:
1) Vehicle is manufactured with defective parts – this type of claim involves a fault in the manufacturing process of the car and can often lead to class-action level lawsuits
2) Vehicle with unreasonably dangerous design – this type of claim involves dangerous designs. Although a car may be well manufactured, it was designed poorly and therefore a safety risk to others. Seat belts, for example, that don’t fasten properly fall into this category.
3) Manufacture Flaws: Car manufacturing companies can be held for product liability issues if their products are not well made
4) Dealership / Auto Shop: In certain cases, the owner of the sold the vehicle or the specific defective part may be liable to you for your damages. Used car dealerships may be liable depending on the state law.
Auto Defect Types
May include and are not limited to the following:
- Steering wheel problems, resulting in partial or complete loss of vehicle control
- Fuel leaks and fuel system problems
- Malfunctioning windshield wiper
- Seats and seat backs that fail during use
- Child safety seat defects
- Air bags that do not deploy or deploy under poor conditions
- Wiring system problems
- Defective braking systems and accelerators
How We Can Help
For many automakers the issue of auto defects is one of minimizing their culpability and responsibility in order to maximize their profits. The issue of auto defects is to ensure that reckless or negligent and profit-driven defendants are properly responsible for their marketing and production decisions.
Our office will ensure that you are well-represented so that we can recoup money lost as a result of being out of work due to injury (physical and/or psychological) of an auto defect-based accident or for a related reason. Considering that auto defect cases tend to involve particularly egregious safety lapses, severe injuries such as brain injuries, orthopedic or spinal injuries, etc., you need competent legal counselors who will fight for you and work to acquire compensation on your behalf that will allow you and your family to be able to take care of current and future medical expenses.
So, please contact our office to set up a free consultation to begin discussing your matter and what the road ahead could look like for you and your family.
Our Newport Beach car accident lawyers will rigorously advocate for you in a court of law and if we do not win your case, you do not pay!