Not only can automobile defects be the root cause of car accidents, they can make collisions more severe. There are many working parts in automobiles, and if one component is flawed in some way, it could lead to a traumatic crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been requiring manufacturers to perform recalls for vehicles with safety defects since 1966, and car companies also do this on their own.
There is no definitive way to tell how many cars are defective, but some flaws are more common than others. Some typical automobile defects include the following:
It is well-known that airbags are vulnerable to defects. Some airbags fail to deploy, while others deploy at the wrong times. There is also the problem of when they deploy too quickly with more force than they should. Any of these three malfunctions can cause serious injuries or make a victim’s injuries worse.
Another one of the most defective car parts are seat belts. As the vehicle’s main restraint system, seat belts can really be problematic when they fail to perform. The NHTSA reports that close to three million people become injured from seat belt failures each year. This includes broken latches, and defective tension detectors or locking mechanisms.
Fuel pumps can also be defective, which could make the vehicle suddenly stop moving. Fuel pumps send gas from tank to engine, and if the fuel stream is halted, the engine can sputter and stop. If the power is lost when the vehicle is accelerating, it will seem as though it is stalling instead.
Brakes and Power Steering
Brake and power steering failure can also cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Not being able to stop at a traffic signal or other critical spot can be fatal. It is recommended to choose vehicles with dual brake systems, which may lower the chances of the brakes failing. If the power steering fails, it might be possible to maintain some control.
Windows and Door Latches
Defective windows and door latches can also cause car accidents. Windows have to fit tightly against the rubber stops on the doors; there should be no cracks or holes in them, either.
Recently, the NHTSA carried out an investigation pertaining to door latch failures. The NHTSA learned that pawl springs were often the culprits. These coil-shaped objects work to bring door handles back to the closed position. When defective, the door could bounce back open after being slammed shut, harming the person. Doors could also fly open when people lean against them, which could be deadly if the vehicle was in motion.
Tires, Windshield Wipers, and Lights
Tires, windshield wipers, headlights, and taillights were also pointed out as being common automobile defects. If a defective tire suddenly loses pressure or pops while a car is moving, the driver can lose control and crash.
Defective windshield wipers should not lead to immediate life-threatening situations, but if they are not working correctly, visibility is reduced and it is hard to see outside. A driver who notices that their wipers are not working right should get new ones as soon as possible.
It is also important to make sure that the car’s headlights and taillights are in good shape as well. Waiting too long to replace them can be dangerous.
How Do I Strengthen a Defective Automobile Claim?
Proving a defective automobile claim can be challenging, so it is essential to gather and preserve any supporting evidence. Evidence includes photographs and videos of the vehicle at the accident scene, as well as documentation of any injuries.
Although it may be necessary to use the vehicle for work or personal use, contacting a qualified car accident lawyer before doing so is recommended. Having it repaired or continuing to drive it could jeopardize any claim that is made. The best step is to keep it in a garage and rent another vehicle until a thorough investigation can take place.
In some defective automobile cases, expert witnesses are needed to provide testimonies. They may be better informed about the car make and model, any reported defects, and how the defects caused the crash.
How Do I Stay Informed About Recalls?
Once the NHTSA has established that a vehicle has a safety defect or is non-compliant to safety standards, car manufacturers are required to contact registered owners of these vehicles. The companies have to notify these owners via first-class mail about the problem and explain why it presents a risk. All the safety hazards must be detailed in the letter. In addition, it must explain how to fix the defect at no charge and where it can be completed.
The detailed letter will also include how long the repair or remedy will take, and who to get in touch with if there are any issues. Anyone who is concerned about their vehicle can go to the NHTSA website and enter their car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). If one discovers that their car has been recalled, they should contact a lawyer.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Harmed by Defective Vehicles
An automobile defect can cause a serious collision. If you have an injury because of a flawed auto part, contact a Highland Park car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Call us at 732-249-4600 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.