Vehicle recalls have become a common occurrence in the United States. In 2014, a record was set for the number of recalls. In 2015, that record was broken and a new all-time high was reached. Consumers are understandably concerned about the risk of buying or leasing a car that they later find out is defective.
In 2017, Consumer Reports found that most Americans lacked faith in the oversight of vehicle safety. Americans have placed a great deal of trust in vehicle manufacturers, and the erosion of this trust is something that automakers have largely brought on themselves. A faulty vehicle or a faulty vehicle part can have massive implications for the safety of motorists.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of a defective vehicle or defective vehicle part, you may not have to bear the costs associated with your injury. By filing a product liability claim, you may be able to hold a manufacturer responsible for the damages you’ve suffered. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we have years of experience in auto product liability cases. If you or a loved one has suffered a defect-related injury, we are here to help.
Vehicle defects come in many different forms. Sometimes a specific component can be defective. In other cases, the faulty design of a vehicle might be responsible for consumer injuries. Let’s look at a few examples of automobile defects.
Examples of Defective Vehicle Parts
In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were over 3,000 crashes in Texas that involved defective or missing vehicle parts. The most common vehicle-related contributing factor was “defective or slick tires,” which led to over 2,000 crashes, 130 incapacitating crashes, and 68 fatal crashes. Defective brakes and defective steering mechanisms are the second and third leading factors involving faulty part-related crashes in Texas.
Vehicle defects come in many forms, the most alarming of which are safety-related defects. Some common examples of parts that could be defective include:
- Headlamps or other lights
- Steering mechanisms
Sometimes the vehicle’s design is to blame for a dangerous automobile. For example, faulty design was at the root of years of legal battles between roughly 1 million consumers and Ford Motor Co. over their sports-utility vehicle Ford Explorer. Ford’s SUV was prone to rollover crashes because of its design. The lawsuits against Ford said that the company was well-aware of the rollover risk for Explorer occupants, but failed to fix the problem or to notify consumers of that risk.
Manufacturers owe consumers due diligence when designing and testing their automobiles, but many fall short of this obligation. In many cases, companies know that their product has inherent risks and sell them anyway.
Vehicle Recalls and Consumer Safety
You’ve likely seen the headlines in recent years of major safety-related vehicle recalls, such as the massive Takata airbag recalls or the General Motors ignition switch recall. Recalls are vital for consumer protection; unfortunately, they often occur only after consumers have suffered fatal or debilitating injuries.
Recalls can be issued by government agencies or by automakers themselves. They are often the result of complaints by consumers or lawsuits filed by injured motorists. In other words, by the time consumers are notified of recalls, it is likely that – for many motorists – the damage has been done.
Your Legal Options…
If you’ve suffered serious injuries because of a faulty product or a defective vehicle, you can take legal action against the manufacturer or seller of these dangerous products. These cases can be incredibly complex, but it’s not necessary for an injured person to have in-depth knowledge of how product liability law works to file a successful claim.
Product liability and personal injury attorneys represent victims of faulty design to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. An attorney will investigate the circumstances of a crash to find out who was at fault, how much is owed their client, and the best course of action toward getting payment for their clients.
An attorney will also advise their clients whether it is best to settle a case or to take the claim to court.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we know what it takes to file a successful claim. Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury trial lawyer and former judge. He is uniquely qualified in these types of cases, and his hand-picked team has worked hard to provide exceptional service to clients for more than three decades.
To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.