According to a study from 2007, there were over 254 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States. Because automobiles are such a normal part of everyday life, it is easy to forget how complicated and complex they are. In order for an automobile to work properly, every component must work not only on its own, but also while interacting with every other part of the automobile.
When any element of a car’s construction or inner workings is not working properly, it can have devastating consequences for not only that vehicle’s passengers, but also anyone located near that vehicle on the road. Automotive defects can put innocent lives at risks, especially if they aren’t caught early on or if the vehicle isn’t recalled.
There are a number of automotive defects that affect thousands of vehicles every year. Many of these defects can result in a serious accident causing life-altering injuries or even death. Some of the most unfortunately common defects include the following:
- Brake failure – This can include a number of defects such as premature brake lock up. When brakes do not perform when you need them the most, you could lose control of the vehicle and slam into another car or a stationary object.
- Gas tank defects – This includes both design and manufacturing defects. Any type of gas tank defect could put the driver and passenger at risk of a fire or explosion. Some common defects include putting the gas tank outside the vehicle’s frame, defective fuel filler necks, or fuel lines that do not have safety valves.
- Airbag defects – When the airbag either fails to deploy when it is needed or deploys without warning when there has not been an accident, drivers and passengers could be at risk of suffering a serious injury. Not only does the airbag not protect you in the event of an accident, but it could cause unnecessary injures if it deploys early or with too much force.
- Seat belt defects – There are some cases in which the seat belt comes unlatched in an accident or the belt breaks when subjected to sudden pressure. When this happens, a driver or passenger could be at risk of being ejected from the vehicle or hitting something or someone inside the car.
- Vehicle Roll Over and Roof Crush – In the event of a rollover accident, your vehicle’s roof pillars should be strong enough to stop the roof from collapsing. Unfortunately, this has occurred and accidents of this nature could result in serious injuries or even death.
- Child Safety Seats – In some cases, a child safety seat may not be able to safely or correctly attach to your vehicle. If your child’s safety seat doesn’t stay in place in the event of an accident, your child could suffer serious and life-threatening injuries.
These are only a few of the many possible automobile defects you could face as a driver or passenger. If you are injured in an accident because of a car defect, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you understand the legal options that are available to you for pursuing compensation.