Automobile Defect Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey show that over 44,000 car accidents happen every year as a direct result of manufacturing defects on vehicle parts and components. While millions of vehicles are recalled every year due to manufacturing defects and design flaws that could result in injury or death, some of these defects are not discovered until severe injuries occur on the roadways.
Understanding Automobile Defects
Every part and component on a vehicle is regulated by the NHTSA which creates and enforces the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. If absolutely any vehicle part or component fails to meet a standard established by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards it can be recalled immediately. Some of the more common recall notices for vehicles include the following:
- Incorrect deployment of airbags
- Broken or sticking accelerators
- Fires resulting from electrical systems or fuel system components
- Wheels that are broken or cracked
- Steering failures causing loss of control of a vehicle
- Windshield wiper failures
- Failure of seats or seatbacks
- Any vehicle part or component that fall apart, separate, break, or malfunction causing the inability to control the automobile properly
These defects and design flaws can occur before a recall notice is ever issued. Car accidents can occur due to these manufacturing defects long before a manufacturer realizes or should have realized that a defect existed on their part or component.
Types of Accidents
There are two types of accidents that result from defective parts or components on a vehicle. In every case, the accident is either directly caused by the defective part or component, or the accident was made more severe due to the defective part or component.
- Cause of Accident. If a car accident occurs directly because of a manufacturing defect, such as the failure of a steering column or brakes, the manufacturing defect will be considered the primary cause of the car accident.
- Causes a More Serious Accident. In some cases, the manufacturing defect does not directly cause the initial accident, but makes that accident much more severe and results in even more serious injuries. For example, if a seat belt does not work properly, or airbags do not deploy properly, the car accident injuries will obviously be more serious.
Determining Liability for Manufacturing Defects
The law is clear that manufacturers of vehicle parts and components have a proactive legal duty to provide safe products free from defects to their consumers. If any type of vehicle defect is ever discovered, the manufacturer needs to immediately issue a recall and notify the public. Manufacturers are held to a legal standard known as strict liability, which means that if a product is discovered to have a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer will be liable for any injuries that result.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you believe that your car accident was either caused or worsened, due to a manufacturing defect, you may have to have an manufacturing expert testify in your case. Contact an experienced Columbia personal injury attorney at The Stanley Law Group at 803-799-4700 to schedule a free consultation regarding your car accident and how to hold a manufacturer liable for your injuries and damages.