Vehicle recalls and defects happen more often than many people realize, which can create a real problem for consumers. Many vehicle recalls are minor, but not all, which is why it is important for car owners to pay attention to the news and watch for brand-specific recalls. Not only are vehicle recalls and defects a major inconvenience, but they can result in serious accidents and injuries. You may remember the Takata airbag situation a few months back – one of the largest recalls there ever was, resulting in a handful of deaths and numerous serious injuries.
In addition to the airbag, there are many different components in a car that can go wrong and pose a threat to the driver and his or her passengers. Even though the automobile has been constantly evolving over the last 100+ years, no machine is foolproof. Despite intense testing and strict regulations, we sometimes see cars and trucks mass produced and put up for sale to the general public with safety hazards and serious manufacturing flaws. When it is discovered that a vehicle has a design defect, construction issue, or other safety hazard, more often than not a safety recall will be issued. When this happens, if you have purchased a car that has been recalled, you may need a personal injury attorney to help you evaluate your options and understand how to proceed.
Common Defects in Vehicles
Unfortunately, all vehicles can be recalled and nearly any part of a car can be defective. Even vehicles that have advanced software and technology are subject to serious defects in the computer and electrical systems that control the vehicle. With that in mind, let’s look at a handful of the most common defects we see in vehicles today:
- Airbag Deployment – Airbags are an important safety component of vehicles that unfortunately can deploy with too much first (such as the Takata inflator defect), resulting in serious injuries to the face and neck of the driver and passengers
- Defective Seat Belts – One of the most common auto defects we see pertains to the standard safety shoulder seat belt. While this feature has improved over the years, there are still numerous problems associated with seatbelts. Some of the most common issues with seatbelts are failure to lock on impact, unlatching during an accident, failure to disengage, breaking and tearing of the belt, and retractor errors.
- Defective Tires – Defective or faulty tires can cause serious damage and result in devastating injuries or death. One of the most widely publicized cases was the Firestone tire defect in the early 2000s, which resulted in thousands of lawsuits and injuries. Some of the most common problems with tires include inner liner defects, tread separation, cracking, sudden loss of inflation pressure, and tire shredding.
- Exploding Gas Tanks – Last but certainly not least, another common vehicle defect is gas tanks that ignite and explode spontaneously or due to impact. As you can imagine, these types of scenarios are quite serious and often result in death. Exploding gas tanks are a known problem in certain models of Jeep Chrysler.
If you have been affected by a vehicle defect or recall, please contact Rad Law Firm today. Our experienced Dallas product liability attorneys are happy to answer any questions you may have and help you understand your rights moving forward.