Lawsuits revolving around auto-defects have gained a lot of prominence in recent years. Cases such as those lodged against automakers like General Motors have put out, for all to see, the impact that auto defects can have on unsuspecting drivers and passengers.
Auto defects can run the gamut and vary based on severity. Severity is typically judged on whether a defect can likely lead to a serious safety danger such as malfunctions of brakes, steering capabilities, airbags, etc.
Unlike most motor vehicle cases in which the defendants are individual drivers, cases involving auto defects involve finding culpability not with a particular driver but rather, with the automaker who built the car that may have been the cause of a traumatic injury or even death for all of the vehicle’s users.
Example of defective airbags
Automakers are not infallible machines that produce perfectly safe cars. In many cases, automakers have at least some knowledge that their vehicles are having issues and often wait to issue a recall depending on the extent of the fault and the likely lawsuit damages from the impending defect (see fight club scene: “on a long enough time line, the survival rate of everyone falls to 0”).
In certain cases, accidental poor design can be sued for negligence, if evidence is discovered that the company knew about the defects yet chose not to recall or disclose them to consumers.
History has shown us a large sample of successful auto defect cases, sometimes even class-action lawsuits. You may remember the infamous Ford Pinto and Firestone wheel cases in the 90s, or heard of an auto-defect letter you friend received in the mail about being compensated for a car repair issue for your car model and type.
Certain cases involve different types of people along the car industry supply chain:
1) Vehicle is manufactured with defective parts – this type of claim involves a fault in the manufacturing process of the car and can often lead to class-action level lawsuits
2) Vehicle with unreasonably dangerous design – this type of claim involves dangerous designs. Although a car may be well manufactured, it was designed poorly and therefore a safety risk to others. Seat belts, for example, that don’t fasten properly fall into this category.
3) Manufacture Flaws: Car manufacturing companies can be held for product liability issues if their products are not well made
4) Dealership / Auto Shop: In certain cases, the owner of the sold the vehicle or the specific defective part may be liable to you for your damages. Used car dealerships may be liable depending on the state law.
May include and are not limited to the following:
For many automakers the issue of auto defects is one of minimizing their culpability and responsibility in order to maximize their profits. For Timothy J. Ryan and Associates, the issue of auto defects is to ensure that reckless or negligent and profit-driven defendants are properly responsible for their marketing and production decisions.
So, please contact our office to set up a free consultation to begin discussing your matter and what the road ahead could look like for you and your family.
Our Huntington Beach car accident lawyers will rigorously advocate for you in a court of law and if we do not win your case, you do not pay!
Attorney Tim Ryan is author of "The Personal Injury Victim's Bible" and has assisted thousands of injury victims, obtaining more than $1 billion for his clients collectively since 1981.
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