Car accidents are often caused by vehicle defects. Read on to learn about the two different categories of vehicle defects, as well as some common defect issues.
UNDERSTANDING CAR DEFECTS: TWO TYPES OF PROBLEMS
There are two types of car defects. The first is a design defect. This means that the flaw in the vehicle is inherent in the way the vehicle was originally created. This is not a mistake that was made at the factory, or simple human error. If brought to the attention of the court, skilled engineers look over the design of the vehicle to decide if the original blueprint was unsafe according to current industry standards.
The second type of defect is a manufacturer’s defect. This means that the flaw is created by a mistake that happened at the factory, or by a factory worker’s error. In court, manufacturer’s defects can be difficult to prove, as the defendant must be able to show error in the manufacturing or assembly process.
While these types of defects are different, they can both cause injury or death.
There are also many different systems within vehicles that are likely to contain defects:
BRAKE AND TIRE PROBLEMS
Braking systems are complicated, and defects often go unnoticed until the brakes fail (and by that time, it’s too late). Issues with brake rotors, drums, and/or pads are typically the common culprits. According to current research, vehicles with anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are more likely to roll-over during accidents and cause fatalities than vehicles without ABS.
While tire technology has improved greatly over the years, defects that cause tread separation often eventually result in car rollovers or other accidents, due to a sudden loss of control in normal driving conditions. You may have heard about the defect in Firestone tires on Ford Explorer vehicles- millions of tires were recalled as a result.
Airbags are meant to keep us safe, but in some vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2014, airbags have done more harm than good. The Takata brand of airbag was commonly installed in vehicles during these years, and often, the airbags inflated with explosive force, causing injury to those in the vehicle.
There was also an issue with Takata’s airbag casing- sometimes, it would rupture and cause metal shards to fly through the vehicle cabin and hit the driver and/or passenger(s). Takata airbags caused 8 deaths and over 100 injuries, and more than 30 million vehicles have been recalled due to this defect.
From poorly designed fuel tanks to failed seat belt latches, many automobile parts have the potential to be defective. Doors sometimes come open during crashes due to a faulty door latch. A seatbelt can apply pressure in the wrong place during an accident and cause secondary injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.