Motor vehicles can turn from high-powered machines into weapons in mere seconds. Whether it’s a collision that causes an accident or a malfunctioning auto part, the safety of drivers, passengers, and all who share the roads depends on a vehicle functioning properly. Auto manufacturers are required to ensure that both a vehicle’s design and the parts used during assembly are fit to safely travel on the road. When errors and shortcuts are made in a vehicle’s design, testing, and/or manufacturing stage, consumers are left to meet the fate of unfit vehicles that should not have been released to the public. These car defects and flawed designs cause unnecessary pain and suffering every year due to preventable injuries and fatal accidents.
Common Vehicle Defects
Defective motor vehicle component parts include many parts; however, the following products have earned the title of most deadly by repeatedly being listed as a cause of injury and death in collisions. Under auto product liability law, auto manufacturers are responsible for alerting consumers to their product’s potential risks as well as correct defects that injure consumers.
Defective tires are one of the most common and most dangerous defective auto products. Tires not only allow a car to travel, but they are also pivotal in keeping a car’s weight distribution even, allowing for vehicle control. Tires constructed with defective materials are at an increased risk of unraveling, deteriorating, and/or detaching from the tire. This can result in a tire blowout, which can cause a vehicle to lose control and spur additional accidents and damage. Drivers can inspect their tires for wear and tear to determine if they are fit to remain on the vehicle according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s tire maintenance here.
When a vehicle’s safety equipment fails, all occupants are automatically put at greater risk for harm. Drivers and passengers depend on a vehicle’s safety features for added levels of protection between themselves and the dangers of the road. Defective airbags are terrifyingly more common than consumers realize. Airbags can be constructed with faulty materials that can cause them to prematurely or unexpectedly deploy, explode when exposed to high heat, or fail to deploy in the event of an accident. Any one of these situations can inflict serious head and neck injuries as well as fail to protect drivers and passengers from the impact of an accident.
Defective Seat Belts
Similar to the trust we place in airbags, seat belts are essential to vehicle occupant safety while on the road – and they are legally required. Even in the event of a minor crash, the use of a seatbelt could save a life. When seat belts fail, vehicle occupants can be exposed to outside elements and may not be secured inside the vehicle during an accident. Seat belt locking mechanisms can fail and either unlock or jam, resulting in a variety of problems depending upon the facts of each case.
Defective Door Latches
Many would not consider a door handle or latch a potential vehicle hazard; however, without properly functioning door latches, vehicle occupants can be trapped inside the car in an accident. If the latch jams or otherwise malfunctions and is unable to properly hold, it can fail to hold a car door closed, leaving occupants without physical protection from the road.
Regardless of type or size, all motor vehicles have the potential to be dangerous if vehicle component parts malfunction. Unfortunately, the list of car defects is ever-growing, and new vehicle recalls are issues all the time. Drivers can stay informed about their vehicle’s safety by checking auto recall lists for their specific vehicle’s make and model.
Corpus Christi Products Liability Lawyer
Drivers have enough to worry about in regard to safety while on the road. Between anticipating fellow driver’s behavior and navigating construction zones and weather, the last thought a driver should have while attempting to focus on the road is whether or not their vehicle will fail. Auto manufacturers have a responsibility to consumers to ensure every vehicle part is manufactured in line with federal safety standards before reaching the hands of consumers. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident caused by a vehicle defect, contact Corpus Christi products liability lawyer John Flood today to discuss your case. There is limited time to act following an accident in Texas and in products cases evidence needs to be preserved in an urgent manner, so don’t wait to contact an experienced auto products lawyer.