blog home Product Liability The Car Parts Most Often Involved in Product Liability Cases

The Car Parts Most Often Involved in Product Liability Cases

By Joseph Low on May 15, 2024

The dash of a car post accident with the airbags deployed.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a faulty airbag, brake system, tires, seatbelts, or any other defective component, you might be able to seek damages to recover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses, such as lost wages and occupational therapy.

Your Long Beach auto product liability lawyer can investigate the accident and advise you on the best strategy for moving forward with your case.

Product Liability Law in Long Beach

Product liability law holds manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers accountable when a product causes harm due to various defects. This law is grounded in the principle that consumers have a right to be safe while using products as intended. When a car part is defective, the law demands that responsibility be taken by those who put the product into the market.

There are three basic types of product defects that can form the basis of a product liability claim: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.

  • Design defects are inherent – they exist before the product is made, usually because the product was poorly designed and failed to safely perform its intended or foreseeable functions.
  • Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the item. These defects result from some deviation from the intended design, and this issue will continue to impact product safety until it is addressed by the employer.
  • Marketing defects involve the way a product is advertised and the warnings that accompany it. Insufficient instructions or failures to warn consumers about potential risks can lead to a marketing defect claim.

Defective Airbags

Airbags are critical safety features designed to deploy in the event of a collision, providing an additional layer of protection to occupants. But when airbags are defective, they can cause more harm than good. Defects may result in airbags deploying with excessive force, deploying at inappropriate times, or failing to deploy at all. Such malfunctions can lead to significant injuries, including facial trauma, head injuries, or even death. Issues with airbag sensors, electrical components, or the propellant used in the inflator can all contribute to airbag failure.

One of the most significant recall cases in automotive history involved millions of cars equipped with airbags that could explode upon deployment, sending shrapnel into the vehicle’s cabin. This defect led to numerous lawsuits, highlighting the critical nature of automotive safety standards. The litigation that ensued focused on holding the manufacturers accountable and providing compensation for the victims. Attorneys in the case presented evidence showing the manufacturers were aware of the flaws but failed to act promptly.

Defective Seatbelts

Seatbelts are designed to safeguard passengers, acting as the first line of defense during an accident. But when seatbelts are defective, they can fail at this critical task, leading to severe injuries or fatalities that might have been preventable. Defective seatbelts may not latch correctly, may unlatch during a crash, or may not provide the necessary restraint.

In the courtroom, cases of seatbelt failures often hinge on whether the seatbelt was defectively designed or manufactured. For example, a seatbelt may not lock properly during a crash, or it could be prone to accidental unlatching. Successful litigation often brings to light neglected safety tests or ignored defects during production. These cases result in financial compensation for victims, and they also force manufacturers to improve seatbelt designs to prevent injuries.

Defective Brakes

Brakes are among the most critical car components for ensuring driver and passenger safety. When they fail, the results can be catastrophic, leading to accidents that can cause severe injury or death. A brake defect might cause a loss of stopping power, unexpected delay in response, or even total brake failure.

Liability cases surrounding brake failure have led to significant financial settlements and verdicts, reflecting the seriousness of such defects. These cases also underscore the manufacturer’s responsibility to produce safe, reliable products and act swiftly when a potential hazard is identified.

Defective Tires

Tires are the only points of contact between a vehicle and the road, making their integrity crucial to overall vehicle safety. Defective tires can lead to a loss of control, resulting in accidents with devastating consequences. Tire defects may include issues like tread separation, blowouts, and poor structural design, which can cause a tire to fail even when used properly. Unfortunately, these defects are frequently discovered after a catastrophic failure has already occurred.

Cases involving tire blowouts, tread separations, or poor performance under normal driving conditions have led to investigations that sometimes reveal a pattern of negligence. Victims who prove such defects can receive compensation for their losses. These legal battles don’t just highlight the importance of rigorous quality control in manufacturing – they also demonstrate the need for transparency and accountability from tire manufacturers.

Defective Electronic Stability Control

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a technology that helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers. ESC sensors detect when a vehicle is starting to skid; they automatically apply a braking force to individual wheels to help “steer” the vehicle where the driver intends to go. This reduces the risk of a crash resulting from a loss of steering control, which is a leading cause of road accidents.

Although they’re designed to make cars safer, when ESC systems are defective, this technology can become a hazard. Defects in the ESC can result from software issues, faulty sensors, or improper calibration. Proving that an ESC defect caused an accident typically requires expert testimony on the system’s failure and the resulting impact on vehicle handling.

Our Long Beach Auto Product Liability Lawyer Wins Big Cases

If you’ve been injured in any type of automobile accident, contact The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV. For over 20 years, our firm has been helping Long Beach accident victims get the money they need to start putting their lives back together.

The independent agency Avvo gives us a perfect 10.0 rating for providing our clients with outstanding service. Call (562) 901-0840 today or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 to schedule a FREE consultation with our auto product liability attorney in Long Beach. Joseph H. Low IV handles cases on a contingency basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we win.

Posted in: Product Liability

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