California Auto Defect Lawyers & Auto Product Liability Attorneys
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It is important to remember that automakers are large corporations that have high-powered legal defense teams at their beck and call. Anyone who intends to fight these corporations cannot and should not do it alone. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective auto part or a vehicle defect, you need a renowned auto products liability attorney on your side who will fight for your rights every step of the way.
You need a law firm that has the motivation and resources to conduct independent investigations and testing. You need a strong team of injury lawyers who are on a mission to hold wrongdoers accountable and make the world a safer place for consumers. Call 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive help.
California Auto Defect Lawyer, Brian Chase discusses a car seat collapse that led to $24million verdict for his client.
Automakers recalled as many vehicles as they sold in the year 2012. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other media reports, the auto industry sold around 14.5 million vehicles in 2012, which was a 13 percent increase over the previous year.
However, they also recalled more than 14.3 million current and past vehicle models during the same year. This is an amazing statistic because it highlights the number of vehicles out on our roadways that are defective or have faulty parts in them. There are millions more vehicles that have not been recalled despite having defective parts in them.
As vehicles are being recalled in larger numbers due to various manufacturing defects and design flaws, it is very important that consumers are aware of vehicle safety and defective auto recalls. That said, automakers have a duty of care to consumers to manufacture safe and reliable vehicles. Unfortunately, we have seen evidence for decades that automakers, sometimes deliberately, choose to disregard that duty and recklessly endanger the lives of millions of people who buy their vehicles and make them profitable as corporations.
Examples of Defective Auto Parts
Devastating injuries can occur whenever an auto part fails to work properly and a vehicle malfunctions. Automakers are required to put their vehicles through rigorous testing before putting them on the market. But, often, automakers put profits before consumer safety. As a result, they install substandard parts in the vehicle to boost profits. The quality of the auto parts and safety features in a vehicle significantly affect its crashworthiness - which is the ability of a vehicle to protect its occupants in the event of a crash.
Some of the most common vehicle defects that cause car accidents and spur recalls involve:
- Tires: A tire blowout can be extremely dangerous. When a defective tire undergoes tread separation at freeway speeds, the vehicle may veer out of control or roll over. In such cases it may be very difficult even for an experienced driver to regain control of the vehicle.
- Seatbelts: Whenever a passenger is ejected from a vehicle, it must be determined if he or she was wearing a seatbelt that failed to work properly.
- Car seats: When an infant or booster seat is defective, there is the potential for serious injuries to young children.
- Seatbacks: A flimsy or defective seatback may collapse and cause the vehicle occupant to get thrown around in the vehicle. This often results in catastrophic injuries.
- Brakes: It is extremely dangerous to operate a vehicle that does not have properly working brakes.
- Accelerator pedals: There have been a number of recalls lately involving accelerator pedals that stick and remain depressed, causing sudden acceleration or unintended acceleration.
- Airbags: A defective airbag can either fail to protect the driver during an accident or suddenly inflate and cause serious injuries to vehicle occupants.
- Vehicle rollovers: Defective vehicle design could increase the propensity of vehicle rollovers. For example, older-model SUVs and passenger vans are particularly prone to rolling over because of their top-heavy design.
It is important for all California motorists to stay abreast of recalls and investigations. When there have been a number of similar complaints about a specific vehicle or part, the manufacturer may have to conduct an investigation.
In some cases, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will step in to conduct an independent investigation and/or an engineering analysis. If the investigation results in the determination that the auto part is defective, a recall will be initiated.
What Makes a Part Defective?
A defective product fails to execute the task it was designed to perform. There are many reasons why an auto part can become defective. Some parts have a defective design that makes them prone to breaking or malfunctioning. Parts that are poorly designed can fail even when they are assembled correctly. In other cases, auto parts are poorly built. Manufacturing defects typically involve a limited number of parts that were built at a specific plant for a short period of time when the required specifications were not followed.
Proving that a Part is Defective
It is absolutely vital to your case that your vehicle is preserved for a complete and thorough inspection. Resist the temptation to repair or get rid of your car. In fact, the vehicle is the most important piece of evidence in an auto defect case. An expert will be able to thoroughly analyze the vehicle for defects, malfunctions and other evidence when it is preserved in its original state unaltered.
In order to have a successful product liability claim against an auto manufacturer, you will have to prove that:
- The auto part was defective in some way;
- That the faulty product resulted in the accident and or injuries;
- You suffered a physical, financial or emotional loss as a result of the defect.