Automobile Defect Lawsuits: Unsafe Vehicles Cause Injuries
It’s beginning to seem as if there is a new automotive recall announced at least weekly, and many of the recalls are very scary to contemplate. Many of the defects at the heart of the recalls, in fact, could potentially result in people being seriously injured, or even killed. A great many of them lately seem to involve defective safety features. And often, vehicles are recalled because certain vehicle component parts failed to perform safely in a foreseeable accident.
But what’s more concerning is the vehicles who are not recalled, and for which defects don’t show up until after a terrible accident. The attorneys at Texas-based Hill Law Firm has compiled a list of the most common automotive defects that can cause injury or death. Here is a summary of some of the most common of them (full details can be found at the website):
- Unstable Vehicles: “Stability” refers to the likelihood that a car will roll over in a crash. Low-profile vehicles tend to be more stable and less prone to rolling over than SUVs, truck and vans, which are higher off the ground. Unstable vehicles can cause accidents to be worse than otherwise. Many cars come equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which is designed to ensure that a driver doesn’t lose control. According to studies, accident rates are lower for vehicles with ESC, which means, if your vehicle is not equipped with ESC may be considered defective.
- Airbag Defects: This category seems to be growing, and the problems fall into several categories. Sometimes airbags are installed and either fail to deploy or deploy with enough force or debris to render them unreasonably dangerous and defective. Further, the lack of airbags can render a vehicle unreasonably dangerous and defective.
- Roof Crush: Roof crush refers to a collapse of the roof during an accident. The collapse can create many problems, including greater risk of spinal cord injury, as well as an increased risk of occupant ejection. A roof will often collapse, due to a defective, and sometimes, injuries are worse, because the vehicle is not equipped with a proper air bag for a rollover.
- Fuel Tanks: While these problems are not as common or high-profile, fuel tank fires still happen, and are often caused by excess gasoline being released from the tank after an accident. Often, this occurs when a gas tank is not properly guarded and becomes punctured in a collision, or when the filler neck pulls out of the tank, releasing excess gasoline. All of these are signs of a defective fuel tank.
- Seatbacks: A seatback should maintain its rigidity throughout an accident. When it fails, usually in a rear-end or front-end collision, when the force of the crash causes the seat to collapse backward, it’s possible the seatback was defective.
- Tires: A tire defect usually occurs when one layer of steel belts separates from another and the outside tread. Delamination will often result in a sudden loss in air pressure, otherwise known as a blowout, resulting in a loss of control and an accident. When that happens, it is often the result of a defective tire.
Automotive defects are all too common, and everyone who owns a vehicle should be aware of them. It pays to keep an eye out for recalls in this area, so that you are aware of potential problems. If you are in an accident, be aware that it’s not always a driver’s fault; it can sometimes happen because of a defect in the manufacture of your vehicle or another’s. It pays to look into it and find out.