Were you hurt in a car accident because of a defective auto part? If so, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.
The skilled team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer can help you identify all available sources of compensation for the crash and demand accountability on your behalf. To learn more, contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Most Common Defective Auto Parts
Any auto defect can pose a risk to drivers and passengers, but certain types of defects are both more common and more hazardous, such as:
- Brake defects – Defective brakes are dangerous because they make it easier for a driver to lose control by preventing them from slowing down or stopping to avoid accidents. Common brake defects include faulty brake lines and worn-out pads.
- Tire defects – A defective tire is more likely to have an unexpected blowout, possibly leading to loss-of-control accidents. Common examples of tire defects include separated treads, bulges, and sidewall cracks.
- Airbag defects – Airbags are essential safety features that protect vehicle occupants from severe injuries in an accident. But if an airbag deploys improperly or unexpectedly, it can startle or injure the driver and contribute to accidents. Possible airbag defects include faulty sensors and inflators.
- Steering system defects – Steering systems allow drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, and defects can easily lead to loss of control accidents. Common steering system defects include damaged steering columns, loose tie rods, and defective steering racks.
- Electrical system defects – Electrical systems power a vehicle’s lights, ignition, and other electrical components. A defective electrical system could lead to severe problems like stalling, electrical fires, and even engine failure. Common electrical system defects include faulty wiring, batteries, and alternators.
- Fuel system defects – When fuel system components like fuel pumps, lines, or tanks develop faults, they can lead to critical issues like fuel leaks, fires, and engine failure. Common examples of fuel system defects include clogged filters, faulty pumps, and defective lines.
Recent Cases of Automobile Defects and NHTSA Recalls
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), 932 safety recalls affected more than 30.8 million U.S. vehicles in one recent year. However, millions of vehicle owners fail to address these recalls, meaning countless vehicles in dire need of repairs are on the road daily. Consider some of the following recent cases of auto defects and NHTSA recalls:
- The Takata airbag recall – Japanese automaker Takata has recalled roughly 67 million airbags installed in vehicles of multiple brands, including Mazda, Ford, Honda, and Acura. According to the NHTSA, exposure to heat and humidity over long periods can make these airbags explode upon deployment. Such an explosion reportedly led to one fatality in a Ford Ranger vehicle.
- The Chevrolet Bolt recall – General Motors (GM) recently expanded a recall of Chevrolet Bolt vehicles, which now includes all Bolt electric vehicles from model years 2017 to 2022. The recall previously affected more than 50,000 Bolts, and the recent expansion affected almost 60,000 more. The NHTSA says the recall stems from fire safety concerns due to the risk of battery packs igniting.
- The Kia Sportage recall – Kia America recently issued a new recall for model year 2008 and 2009 Kia Sportages. Kia reportedly issued the recall because of a fire risk, which can start in the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) and spread through the engine compartment while the vehicle is parked or in motion. These same vehicles were subject to a previous recall several years ago, and Kia owners who responded to the previous recall will need additional repairs.
- The Subaru Ascent recall – Subaru of America issued a new recall for Subaru Ascent vehicles from model years 2019 through 2022. This recall affects 271,694 vehicles, which are at increased risk of accidental fires due to faulty wiring connections. So far, two Ascent owners have reported spontaneous fires, though no one has reportedly been hurt or killed.
- The Mercedes-Benz recall – Mercedes-Benz USA is conducting a voluntary recall of numerous vehicles, including ML-class, GL-class, and R-class vehicles from model years 2006 through 2012. This recall affects approximately 292,287 vehicles, which have a higher crash risk due to possible corrosion on brake boosters. No known crashes, injuries, or deaths are related to this recall.
Common Accidents Caused by Defective Auto Parts
Some automotive defects, such as faulty stereo systems or air conditioning units, have little to no effect on crash risk. But defects in certain critical systems, such as a braking or steering system, can prevent vehicles from responding properly to driver commands or cause drivers to lose control of vehicles altogether. Additionally, defective safety features like airbags and seatbelts can lead to more serious injuries for vehicle occupants, even if they do not directly affect crash risk.
Common types of auto accidents that occur because of defective parts include:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Sideswipe crashes
- Rollover accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Multi-vehicle pile-ups
What to Do After an Auto Accident Caused by a Defective Part
Being involved in an accident caused by a mechanical or electrical defect can be upsetting and overwhelming, especially if an unknown defect causes you to lose control of your vehicle. You can regain control of your situation, take care of your health, and protect your legal rights by taking the following steps after the accident:
- Seek medical care to have your injuries diagnosed, treated, and documented.
- Follow your doctor’s care plan.
- Gather evidence from the crash scene, including photos of the wreckage, insurance information from other drivers, and statements from eyewitnesses.
- If your vehicle has a defect, look for documentation related to your vehicle, such as purchase documents, repair invoices, and recall notices.
- Keep copies of paperwork related to the accident, such as medical bills as proof of your injuries and bank statements as proof of lost income.
- Start a “pain journal” to document the details of your recovery in your own words.
- Watch what you say to other parties before you speak with an attorney.
- Avoid sharing any information or photos online while your claim is pending.
- Discuss your case with a car defect lawyer before you speak to anyone else.