Defective Car Parts Lawsuit
The Issue of Product Liability
Filing a car defects lawsuit falls under what is known as product liability. This refers to compensation received from faulty consumer products that harm someone and cause them a great deal of trouble. These defective car parts are considered unsafe, faulty, or fail to meet design, manufacturing, or performance standards. There are usually three different types of product liability cases:
- Strict Liability – The plaintiff has to show that the product, in this case defective auto parts, was unreasonably dangerous and was never used incorrectly (no speeding, drunk driving, or misuse involved). The manufacturer or the dealer can be held liable despite all the careful efforts they claimed they took during the manufacturing process.
- Negligence – Manufacturers can be sued for damages if they failed to take the necessary precautions during the various stages of the entire manufacturing process. For example, if a tire manufacturer is trying to meet a looming deadline, they may rush the job and compromise the quality and safety of the tires they produce.
- Breach of Warranty – All products come with various implied and expressed warranties that provide the customers the assurance that what they are purchasing will work effectively as intended for their actual purpose. Failure to meet these warranties will put the manufacturer at a disadvantage because the injured users can file a defective car parts lawsuit against the company.
If any of these three types of cases apply, then a car defects lawsuit is necessary. The first recourse that a defective car lawyer will always try is strict liability because the burden of responsibility is on the manufacturer. Under the strict liability doctrine, the victim’s car defects lawyer is not required to prove manufacturer’s negligence. Therefore, cases such as this are likely to be easier to handle and often result in high-valued claims in court. Strict liability also means that the plaintiff’s lawyer must only provide evidence that the incident occurred. On top of that, it must be stated that the defective car part malfunctioned and was within the vehicle at the time of the accident.
In car accidents involving defective car parts, the victims can recover full damages. Both the driver of the malfunctioning car and the driver of the working car can file for damages because the catastrophic mistake happened based on an intangible object and not human error. It must be noted that all vehicles, which are involved in the collision, receive a zero-fault rating from the authorities.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
In car accidents caused by defective car parts, insurance agents representing the manufacturer immediately contact the victims involved in the collision. They are dispatched to determine the level of injury and to float the idea of a settlement. It is vital for all victims to remember that these insurance agents do not have the victims’ best interests at heart. They are working for the manufacturers, and they will use whatever the victims say as words against them during the court proceedings. At a critical time like this, it is best not to speak with any insurance agent, as they are highly trained to clandestinely extract sensitive information.
Hiring a defective car lawyer with the Eichholz Law Firm will help victims in answering these leading questions from insurance companies. Our car defects lawyers are trained to think on their feet and are able to give these agents the proper answers that would never jeopardize the victims’ claims.
Common Types of Auto Defects
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations to set up guidelines throughout the years for both automobile manufacturers and automotive parts manufacturers. These companies are required to comply with these industry standards for the purpose of public safety. Over the years there have been numerous recalls because manufacturers sometimes do not meet these standards. Here are some examples listed by the NHTSA:
- Accelerators that stick or break causing rapid and uncontrolled acceleration.
- Airbags that deploy suddenly, even when they are not supposed to.
- Electrical system issues that lead to fires or loss of lights, which then result in sudden swerving and other accidents.
- Seat belts that malfunction during a collision, resulting in severe whiplash and concussions.
- Wheels that crack or unexpectedly break, leading to the loss of vehicle control.
- Steering wheel components that break down leading to the loss of vehicle control.
- Fuel systems that are susceptible to crash damage that can eventually leak and cause fires.
- Windshield wipers that do not work properly resulting in serious crashes during heavy rains.
- Seats or seat-backs that unexpectedly cause injuries.
There are many critical components, parts, and digital systems that make up a vehicle. All of these can break, fall apart, or detach itself from the vehicle at the most inopportune time, causing destruction to the vehicle itself, and worse, injuries to people within the vehicle. The worst case scenario is these defective parts leading to the death of drivers and passengers.
Two Different Car Defect Scenarios that Lead to Loss of Vehicle Control
Defective vehicles and their faulty auto parts can cause accidents and injuries varying in severity. In general, there are two different scenarios that lead to the loss of vehicle control:
- First is when a defective car is the primary reason for the actual accident – such as when the steering wheel fails along the freeway, an airbag deploys suddenly causing the driver to get distracted, a tire blows out at high speeds, or the ignition cuts off. All of these may have varying defective elements but one thing that they share in common is that they cause the driver to lose control over the vehicle.
- Second is when the component defects lead to a more severe and serious injury when a crash occurs. Had the faulty parts been working, the situation would probably have turned out fine. The car defect, however, escalated the situation because the equipment failed to do its job. Examples of this are: when a seat belt fails to restrain a passenger upon impact, an airbag fails to deploy, or the roof collapses when the car rolls over.
Who is Liable and Responsible for Accidents Caused by Defective Car Parts?
Automobile manufacturers and auto parts manufacturers have an obligation to ensure and guarantee that their products are reasonably safe for public use. If they do discover that there are dangers, whether currently known or discovered at a much later date, they have an obligation to inform and announce the defects to the consumers to warn them of the potential dangers. In fact, they are mandated by law to issue defective product recalls. If they are unable to take these steps, an injured party can easily file a product liability lawsuit to seek compensation.
Of course, most manufacturers do not set out to make bad products. But at times, they do cut corners, use the wrong materials, assemble the parts incorrectly, or make mistakes along the way. Sometimes, the vehicle manufacturer is also a victim because their supplier for a certain part is manufactured by a third party source. Depending on the circumstances and details of the accident, an automotive defect injury claim may be filed against the following:
- The automobile manufacturer and designer
- The manufacturer of the defective part
- The company that distributed the vehicle
- The car dealership
There are many possible parties that could be held accountable and liable in a defective car lawsuit. Because of the massive amount of data and information that needs to be traced, it is important that victims of these collisions seek legal help from the reliable defective car lawyers at the Eichholz Law Firm.
Were You Driving a Defective Car When Your Accident Occurred?
The Eichholz Law Firm offers expert and compassionate legal advice to help filter through all the data so that our clients can focus on recovering. Most of all, we work hard in helping clients receive payment with a car defects lawsuit.
Victims must never settle their defective car lawsuit without the guidance of an experienced car defects lawyer, who understands the complexities of a product liability case. Strong legal counsel will help victims fight for justice and will aid them in getting the right compensation from all the multiple parties involved in the production of the defective car parts. Choosing to hire a reliable attorney from a reputable group like the Eichholz Law Firm means that there will be a whole legal team to give victims the support they need.
Call 855-551-1019 or fill out an online form for a free consultation.
- Justia. “Defective Car Parts”, Justia, https://www.justia.com/car-accidents/causes-of-car-accidents/defective-car-parts/. Accessed July 24, 2019.
- Nolo. “Product Liability Claims Involving Defective Cars”, Nolo, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/product-liability-claims-defective-cars-29648.html. Accessed July 24, 2019.
- NHTSA. “Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know”, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm. Accessed July 24, 2019.
- Esurance. “Car Safety Defects and Recalls”, Esurance, https://www.esurance.com/info/car/what-you-need-to-know-about-car-safety-defects-and-recalls. Accessed July 24, 2019.
- Consumer Reports. “The truth about car recalls”, Consumer Reports, https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/04/the-truth-about-car-recalls/index.htm. Accessed July 24, 2019.