We also depend on our vehicles to perform under the demands of the road. Yet, every single day, motorists experience accidents due to defective vehicle parts. Many drivers are currently driving a vehicle equipped with a defective part that could cause serious accidents or injuries.
At Guajardo & Marks, our Dallas defective vehicle attorneys have represented many clients who have experienced first-hand just how bad it can get when a faulty vehicle part causes an accident. If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a defective vehicle, we can help you determine who was at fault and make sure that they are held responsible for your injuries.
Vehicle Defect Liability Overview
If a defective auto part causes a car accident or makes your accident injuries worse, there are several ways in which you may recover compensation. You will need to show injuries and losses, a defect by the manufacturer, defect in design or failure to warn. The defect also must be shown to have caused your injury.
In most auto accident lawsuits, you must prove the other party’s negligence caused your injuries. But with vehicle defects, there are other rules in play, such as:
- Strict liabilty
- Breach of express warranty
- Breach of implied warranty
Strict liability requires you to prove the vehicle or auto part was defective, and this is what caused your injuries. This is different than a negligence lawsuit where you must show the manufacturer’s actions were under a defined standard of care.
Breach of express or implied warranty also can be in play in this type of action. Vehicles and their parts often have a written warranty. If the defective part or vehicle violates the warranty, there could be liability. Even if there is not a written warranty, many states have minimum standards that vehicles and their component parts must meet, regardless.
Some defective design cases could already have a class action lawsuit in existence that you may join. For instance, some vehicles have defective tires or brakes, and an attorney already may be suing the manufacturer. If you join a class action lawsuit, you do not need to pay anything, but you can reap significant financial rewards in some cases.
The Most Common Safety-Related Defects
Common Defective Vehicle Parts
There are many defect-related crashes every year in Texas. The following is a list of some of the top causes of defect-related vehicle accidents in Texas in 2016:
- Defective or slick tires: 2,277 units involved in crashes
- Defective or no vehicle brakes: 581 units involved in crashes
- Defective steering mechanisms: 434 units involved in crashes
- Defective trailer hitch: 61 units involved in crashes
- Defective or no turn-signal lamps: 24 units involved in crashes
- Defective or no lamps: 37 units involved in crashes
- Defective or no headlamps: 37 units involved in crashes
- Defective or no trailer brakes: 23 units involved in crashes
- Defective or no stop lights: 29 units involved in crashes.
There have been a record number of automobile recalls in recent years. While manufacturers initiate many vehicle part recalls, it is often only after problems have been reported and people have been injured by the faulty part. In fact, reports from consumers are vital in the recall process. By reporting faulty vehicle parts, a consumer might be ensuring that others aren’t involved in a serious accident due to the same defect.
Examples of Vehicle Recalls
- Ford Bronco II – The Ford Bronco II was recalled after several reports of rollover accidents. Ford knew about the tendency of the Bronco II to tip over even at low speeds, but sold the vehicles anyway, opening themselves up to a series of lawsuits.
- Ford Explorer/Firestone Tires – In 2000, Firestone/Bridgestone announced the recall of millions of tires due to tread separation issues. Both Bridgestone and Ford lost billions of dollars as a result of the tire recalls.
- Takata Airbag – A much more recent example of defective vehicle parts is the massive Takata airbag recall. Takata airbags were a danger to vehicle occupants because of the chemical used to deploy the airbag, called ammonium nitrate, which caused pieces of shrapnel to be projected at drivers and occupants.
- Toyota Unintended Acceleration – In 2009, Toyota started the recall of what would end up totaling 4.4 million vehicles and costing the automaker $1.2 billion. Vehicles included the Tundra and the Lexus.
Have you been injured by a faulty vehicle part?
The Dallas vehicle defect attorneys at Guajardo & Marks might be able to help. If you or a loved has been injured in an accident caused by a faulty vehicle part, you can take legal action to secure payment for the injuries that you’ve suffered. Contact us today for a free review of your case.