Motor vehicles are an essential mode of transportation for 100s of millions of people throughout the United States and for billions of people worldwide. Motorists depend on their cars, trucks, and motorcycles to function as demanded and transport them to their destination safely. When a motor vehicle has a defect in design or manufacture, which causes the automobile to malfunction, the result of the malfunction could be catastrophic. Manufacturers of motor vehicles are obligated to assure that their vehicles adhere to safety standards at both the federal and state level. Millions of motor vehicles that do not meet the minimum safety standards required by government regulations are sold to the public. In some of these instances, the defective motor vehicle might cause an accident that leads to personal injuries and fatalities.
A motor vehicle that has a defective design or a motor vehicle that has one or more defective auto parts could open the door to legal liability on the part of the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective part. Each year, there are numerous instances where a defective part has either caused or worsened passengers’ injuries sustained during an accident.
Some examples of defective motor vehicle parts that have caused serious injury or death include:
- Faulty Airbags – Recently, there have been millions of automobiles recalled due to dangerous and defective airbags. In the event that a motor vehicle’s airbag fails to deploy, or deploys with too much force, or deploys with shrapnel-like projectiles, these defects may result in severe injuries to the face, head, or neck to the occupants.
- Defective Tires – Defective tires can lead to serious accidents with injuries or fatalities. This is because a tire usually fails when the motor vehicle is moving.
- Door and Hood Latch Failures – In many accidents, the driver or passenger in a car may have survived an accident. For example, a defective door latch could open the door during an accident, leading to the passenger be thrown out of the vehicle.
- Fuel System Failures – In today’s modern motor vehicles, fuel and braking systems use computers and sensors in order to function. A defective fuel system can cause the automobile’s engine to stall, resulting in serious rear-end collisions.
- Defective Roofs – Some accidents cause the motor vehicle to rollover. When a motor vehicle rolls over on to the vehicle’s roof, it is essential that the roof maintains its integrity in order to protect the occupants. Should the roof’s support structure cave in on people inside the motor vehicle, the occupants will sustain serious injuries, paralysis, and even death in some accidents.
Each year, thousands of Americans are hurt or killed in automobile accidents that were caused by recalled automobiles. Motor vehicle manufacturers, due in part to product liability lawsuits, have improved their manufacturing and design practices to meet today’s more stringent safety standards. However, many manufacturers continue to maximize profits by cutting corners and using inferior auto parts. If you or someone you love has been in an accident involving negligence or a defective part, discuss your case with Parker Waichman LLP and protect your legal rights.
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