Car Accidents Caused by Auto Defects

Thanks to continued advances in safety technology, today’s cars and trucks are safer than ever. From blind-spot and forward-collision warnings to adaptive cruise control and tire pressure monitors, advanced safety features protect the occupants of a vehicle by helping them avoid dangerous accidents. Unfortunately, there are instances where a vehicle has a design or manufacturing defect. In some cases, the defect can be relatively minor, requiring that the part be either returned or repaired. Other times, it can put you and the other occupants of your vehicle at risk of being seriously injured if the defect causes a car accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 2.2 million accidents reviewed in the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, vehicle factors were the main cause of 44,000 accidents. While all vehicles and auto parts must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations set forth by the NHTSA, too many of these vehicles fail to meet these standards.

Common Examples of Auto Defects

The following are some of the most common safety-related defects, according to the NHTSA:

  • Accelerators that do not function properly
  • Air bags that deploy prematurely
  • Faulty electrical systems
  • Wheels that crack or break
  • Tires that break, or separate from the vehicle
  • Seats that unexpectedly malfunction
  • Fuel systems that pose a fire hazard

Design Defects vs. Manufacturing Defects

If you intend to pursue a vehicle liability case, it is important to understand the difference between a design defect and a manufacturing defect.

  • A design defect is of particular concern because it can affect an entire product line. The defect is inherent in the design of the part. For example, if there is a flaw in the design of a brake pedal, that flaw will be present in every vehicle that has that brake pedal. When a vehicle’s brakes do not function properly, there is a much greater risk of a serious accident.
  • A manufacturing defect occurs when there is an unintended flaw in the manufacturing process. Examples could include assembling parts incorrectly or installing a floor mat in a way that causes unintended acceleration.

Some of the most common defects include the following:

Tires: When a driver loses control of the vehicle as the result of a tire blowout, it can have devastating consequences, especially if the driver is travelling at a high speed. In some cases, this can cause the vehicle to rollover, which can impact multiple vehicles.

Airbags: When airbags do not deploy when they should, it can be the difference between life and death. Drivers can also suffer serious injuries if an airbag deploys when it should not.

Seatbelts: Seatbelts are one of the most effective ways to prevent injuries in the event of a car accident. When seatbelts do not function properly, the victim can suffer serious, even fatal injuries from hitting the dashboard, the windshield, or from being ejected from the vehicle.

If an automobile manufacturer, or the company responsible for manufacturing the car’s parts, produced a defective product, they are liable for your injuries. Auto defect claims can be complex, and it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyer that can protect your interests.

Baltimore City Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Auto Defects

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as the result of an auto defect, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore City car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine whether the accident was caused by a design defect or a manufacturing defect and we will hold the appropriate party liable for your injuries. To set up a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.