Defective Vehicle Design
Defective vehicle design is a major concern as it can lead to car accidents or cause injuries that could have been prevented with proper design. Since 1996, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been authorized to set safety standards for automobiles and recall defective vehicles. As a result, millions of vehicles, including passenger cars, commercial trucks, and motorcycles, have been taken off the market. Unfortunately, manufacturers sometimes prioritize cost reduction and speedy delivery over correct design processes. By the time a defective vehicle is recalled, it may have already caused multiple accidents and injuries.
Types of Vehicle Defects
Several types of defects can contribute to auto accidents or increase the severity of injuries in a collision.
Some of these defects include:
- Defective Tires: Tire failures or blowouts, often caused by poor tread adherence, can lead to rollovers. Major tire companies like Firestone and Cooper Tires have been linked to design flaws and shoddy production values.
- Fuel System Defects: Incorrect positioning of fuel tanks and welding failures can increase the risk of accidents and fires. Lack of safety devices to stop gas flow during an accident is also a common issue.
- Seat Belt & Airbag Defects: While seat belts and airbags have reduced automobile fatalities, defects in these safety devices can cause severe injuries. Seat belts may become unlatched or tear, and airbags may fail to deploy or deploy at the wrong moment.
- Car & SUV Roof Collapse: Weak and unsteady roof support systems in cars and SUVs can lead to catastrophic injuries in rollover accidents.
Uncontrolled Acceleration in Vehicles
Uncontrolled acceleration, also known as sudden or unexplained acceleration, occurs when a vehicle speeds up without any action from the driver. Many experts believe that a significant number of uncontrolled acceleration cases go unreported, especially if they happen while the car is already moving at high speed. Despite auto manufacturers denying any design defects, numerous incidents of uncontrolled acceleration have been linked to certain vehicles.
If you were involved in an accident caused by sudden acceleration and no apparent reason, you might be able to take legal action against the manufacturer. A product liability lawsuit can help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and emotional trauma. The auto product liability attorneys at Garrity Traina can provide expert guidance and aggressive representation for your acceleration defect claim.
Injuries Caused by Sudden, Unexplained Acceleration
Sudden acceleration can lead to severe accidents when drivers are unable to regain control of their vehicles. The resulting injuries can be catastrophic. As vehicles become more technologically advanced, defects in software controls can hide behind sophisticated features. Unfortunately, auto manufacturers often prioritize introducing new models quickly without adequate testing.
Auto Makers Deny Reports of Uncontrolled Acceleration
Toyota has faced multiple investigations into reports of uncontrolled acceleration in its vehicles. Drivers have reported incidents where the engine revs up when applying brakes, which can result in potentially disastrous accidents. The Toyota Prius Hybrid has also generated numerous complaints about uncontrolled acceleration, even after recalls and software examinations. Ford has recalled its Ranger models due to throttle defects causing sudden acceleration.
Despite consumer safety experts charging auto manufacturers with responsibility, they refuse to acknowledge any mechanical defects and instead blame drivers. However, the restricted nature of the reports suggests that the problem is real and not imagined.
Lexus Floor Mat Recall: Acceleration Malfunctions
Lexus has issued recalls for various models due to floor mat defects that cause acceleration problems. When driving affected vehicles, drivers are advised to put on the brakes, shift the car into neutral, and pull over. Lexus has recalled thousands of vehicles and encourages drivers to remove the driver’s side floor mat until a solution is found. A defect information report was filed with the NHTSA, detailing the interference of the plastic pad beneath the driver’s side carpet with the accelerator pedal.
Defective Seat Design
Weak and unstable seatbacks can collapse during a collision, resulting in severe head and bodily injuries. Defective seats can cause passengers to be partially or completely ejected from their seats, leading to traumatic injuries and even death. Passengers sitting in the back seats are at higher risk of serious injuries or wrongful death.
Common Risks Associated with Defective Seats
Bucket seats pose higher risks for injury compared to regular seats, especially when the seat-backs bend or collapse during impact. Defective seats can cause injuries even in minor accidents, and the risks are even greater for children. Properly designed seat backs should keep passengers restrained without throwing them forward in an accident. Weak seat structure can cause seat-back collapse and increase the risk of ejection.
Defective Seat Designs Lead to Recalls
Various automakers, including Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi, have faced seat-back failure and crushed seat lawsuits due to defective designs. Passengers have suffered serious injuries in rear-ending accidents because of crushed seats.
Injuries Caused by Defective Seat Design
Seat back collapse and ejection can result in severe injuries, including head and neck injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, organ damage, and potentially death. Passengers can also be crushed under the weight of the vehicle during partial ejection, leading to paraplegia, quadriplegia, or fatality.
Defective Power Windows
Power windows, while convenient, have been responsible for numerous injuries, particularly in young children. Approximately 500 people, mostly children under 15, suffer power window-related injuries each year. Defective power windows have caused 58 deaths and hundreds of injuries since their introduction in the early 90s.
If you have been severely injured by a defective power window, a product liability lawyer can help you seek financial compensation for medical bills and other losses. Safety mechanisms that prevent window closure when obstructed could prevent most injuries and deaths associated with power windows.
Contact an Automobile Product Liability Attorney at Garrity Traina
When taking on auto manufacturers, it can be challenging to protect your legal rights and ensure your claim receives the attention it deserves. Manufacturers often try to limit their liability, leaving you with limited options. The experienced product liability attorneys at Garrity Traina can make a significant difference in proving liability and seeking fair compensation for your claim.
For a free consultation to discuss your claim, contact an auto product liability lawyer at Garrity Traina today at https://garritytraina.com. We are dedicated to protecting consumers’ rights and helping you seek justice.