Car accidents have numerous causes, from distracted or drunk driving to automobile defects. Below, we explore the latter, why motor vehicles are recalled, and what you can do if you were in a car crash caused by a defective automobile.
Safety Mechanism Failure
Arguably the most common reason a car or truck is recalled is because one or more of its safety mechanisms have failed or do not work properly. For example, say a vehicle’s air bags do not deploy, causing the severe injury or death of the driver.
If it can be proven that the driver would have otherwise been fine had the airbags functioned appropriately, the vehicle manufacturer may be financially responsible for damages resulting from the accident.
Child Safety Components
All motor vehicles must meet certain baseline safety ratings. However, some vehicles designed for families include features that specifically reduce the risk of injury to children. Examples of these features include additional side door airbags, LATCH system anchors, and automatic child safety locks.
Vehicle manufacturers have a responsibility to design cars, trucks, and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) that are as safe as possible with current industry technology. However, some manufacturers knowingly design automobiles that put individuals at greater risk.
SUVs are a prime example of this. Most of them have a top-heavy design, which often results a rollover in the event of a collision or if a driver loses control of the vehicle. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents account for approximately 30% of all fatalities in passenger motor vehicles.
Another example might be if a vehicle was designed with a larger-than-usual blind spot, resulting in accidents caused by drivers being unable to adequately see around them.
While heated seats are enjoyed by many drivers during New Hampshire and Massachusetts’ icy winters, they can also be potentially dangerous. Poorly made seat heating systems can cause combustion inside the seat, possibly resulting in burns. Depending on the severity of the malfunction, vehicle drivers and passengers may be seriously injured or even killed.
Although tires can easily be repaired or replaced, they’re notorious for defects that result in critical injury or death, especially at high speeds. Things like tread separation or retread failure can cause tire blowouts, resulting in cars careening off the road. Other tire defects include a lack of tread separation prevention design, missing components, failure of the sidewall zipper, separation of the steel belt, or damage to the tire when mounting it.
Drivers are often the ones to spot tire defects, since they significantly affect how a vehicle handles on the road and are hard to go unnoticed. Defective tires may wobble at high speeds or pull the car to the side of the road if the wheel alignment is off.
Many motor vehicles are recalled because there are defects within one or more of the nonessential components of the car. These do not pose a significant danger to the vehicle’s occupants; however, it does reduce the value of the car and delivers less than what the buyer paid for. Usually, these defects are repaired at no cost at a dealership to restore the vehicle to factory condition.
What to Do If Your Motor Vehicle Is Defective
If a driver doesn’t identify a motor vehicle defect themselves, there are generally two other ways they can learn that their vehicle is defective. Here’s what to do in each case:
They are notified by the dealership
When a motor vehicle manufacturer learns of a defect, they will typically send correspondence to the registered addresses of people who purchased the defective make and model. The owner can then bring their vehicle into the dealership for a free repair. Usually, a vehicle defect can be fixed and owners are not required to exchange their car or truck.
If you receive a defect notice in the mail, simply call your local dealership and make an appointment for the repair. Your dealership can provide you with guidance on what to expect in regard to appointment availability, length of time for repair, etc.
They are involved in an accident
Unfortunately, some vehicle defects cause accidents before they can be identified by a dealership or driver. Many drivers learn that their car or truck was defective after a thorough investigation of the incident to determine which party(s) may be at fault.
If you were involved in an automobile collision you believe may have been caused by one or more vehicle defects, it’s crucial to reach out to an experienced consumer protection and car accident lawyer in your area.
Your attorney will review the circumstances surrounding your case and all available evidence. They may hire an accident reconstruction specialist to help determine how the collision took place and which party caused or contributed to the incident.
Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC to Speak with a Consumer Protection Attorney Now
Attorneys Robert E. Mazow, Kevin J. McCulllough, and team are highly experienced in representing individuals and families that have been affected by car accidents and defective products. When these two issues overlap and consumers are affected by defective motor vehicles that cause accident or death, it’s critical to consult with a veteran lawyer as quickly as possible.
Call now for your consultation by dialing (978) 744-8000 or reach us toll free at (855) 693-9084. Our seasoned legal team is available now to offer you the support, advocacy, and legal representation you need after you or a loved one are hurt by a defective motor vehicle or another dangerous product.