Whether it is from a car, truck, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle, defective parts are an annoyance – having to bring your vehicle in to the dealer for repairs or replacement. However, at their worst, defective parts and component parts are dangerous ticking time bombs waiting to cause a tragic accident. Whether a minor software bug or a complete brake failure, if a vehicle manufacturer fails to address a defect, or they place into the stream of commerce a defectively designed vehicle or component part, they put the general public at risk for accidents and injuries.
The national list of vehicle recalls is long, continually growing, and often has deadly statistics behind it. And, in the majority of cases, defective auto parts and vehicles end up on our roads and highways due to corporate negligence.
Common vehicle defects and their consequences
A vehicle defect – can take a variety of forms, from a big tire blowout to a faulty seatbelt. It can be a single defective part, or multiple defective parts that result in a bigger problem. Common vehicle defects and issues include:
- Fires. Car fires often start because of faulty electrical or fuel systems. And, if the vehicle and its components are not designed to stop the spread of fire, consequences can be catastrophic.
- Brakes. Today, cars and trucks have complex braking systems. If one part is defective, the entire system can break down, causing the brakes to fail. This can cause high-speed rear-end or other types of car accidents.
- Airbags. Airbag defects can turn a minor accident into a deadly one. The infamous Takata airbag recall highlighted the dangers of defective airbags, when several people were killed from exploding airbags in their vehicles.
- Acceleration. Vehicles with defective electronic systems can suddenly accelerate, overriding the driver’s ability to regain control of the car. Sudden acceleration can cause frightening, unpreventable accidents.
- Defective tires. Tread separation, blowouts, and improper installation are some of the more common issues that can all cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, leading to a rollover or accident.
- Steering. There are a variety of ways that vehicle steering can fail; including defects in the pumps, lines, hoses, or other components. Loss of steering means loss of control of the vehicle.
- Seatbelts. Defective seatbelts can make a bad accident even worse. Seatbelts can fail in a variety of ways, including unlatching, tearing, or not retracting properly in the event of an accident.
- Door latches. If a door latch system fails, a vehicle door can become unlocked or even open when the car is moving or in a collision. When a driver or passenger is ejected from their vehicle, they can suffer catastrophic or fatal injury.
- Ignition systems. A faulty ignition switch can cause a vehicle to unexpectedly switch off while driving. This happened with GM several years ago, and more than 100 people were killed in related accidents.
Injuries from vehicle defects
Accidents caused by defective auto and vehicle parts can lead to severe and debilitating injuries:
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Burns and scarring
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Vehicle manufacturers have an ethical and legal responsibility to design and manufacture vehicles that are as safe as possible. If they fail in that responsibility and people suffer injury, accident victims have a right to seek reimbursement for their injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one were injured because of a defective vehicle or auto part, the Los Angeles attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas LLP can help. We fight zealously for consumers when they suffer due to the negligence of big auto manufacturers. Contact us today to set up a consultation and find out how we can assist you. Call us at 310-474-1582 or complete our contact form.