Car Airbag Defect

By Peter DePaolis

Leading Washington, D.C. Auto Defect Lawyer on Your Rights for Accidents Caused by Defective Parts


crashed carAll it takes is one little piece of equipment to be “off” on your vehicle for your whole world to be destroyed. An airbag defect, a tire blowout or brake failure should never happen, because when it does, people suffer catastrophic injuries. Common car accident injuries in serious accidents include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or, worse yet, car defects may result in fatal car accidents.

Within the auto industry, there are safety standards upon safety standards in place to prevent defective car parts and systems from ever making it through production. Chances are, if a car accident is the result of an automotive defect, negligence on the part of a carmaker, an auto parts manufacturer, car dealer or auto repair shop may be to blame.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. has been helping injury victims and their families in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia since 1979. We know how crucial it is for accident survivors and the families of fatal accident victims to have experienced, quality legal representation. Our firm has over three decades of experience successfully guiding injury victims through the legal process of holding individuals and businesses accountable for their negligence. We know what we are doing and can help you.

Call us today to discuss your situation. Speaking with us in no way obligates you to hire our firm. We will simply answer your questions and explain everything you need to know to make the best decision possible for your and your family’s future.

Most Common Types of Car and Truck Defects

There are several types of car defects and auto recalls for faulty parts known for causing accidents and injuries. The most common defects include but are not limited to the following:

  • Brake Failure – This can involve defective design, faulty parts, improper manufacturing or failed maintenance/repairs leading to a vehicle’s braking system not working properly or at all.
  • Airbag Defect – Airbag defects can involve airbag failure, an airbag deploying mistakenly or an airbag deploying with too much force. In such cases, faulty crash sensors, airbag inflators that are too powerful or airbags that are not designed to inflate upwards before inflating outwards are to blame.
  • Defective Tires – Tires that wear out too soon can lead to tire blowout accidents. One type of tire defect is tread separation, which can be the result of old or poor glue being used as an adhesive during the manufacturing process. Another example of a tire defect would be tire sidewall or bead failure, which involves poorly designed or manufactured tire sidewalls or tire beads (the inner circle that reinforces a tire) or the use of improper materials to produce tire beads or sidewalls. Tire sidewall or bead failure can result in the tire losing pressure, collapsing suddenly or a tire blowout.
  • Impact Protection Defects – This can involve an improperly designed roof, leading to the roof caving in during a rollover crash, or a vehicle with poorly reinforced doors that cannot properly withstand a side-impact crash.
  • Seatbelt Defects – This usually involves the seatbelt not locking properly due to a defect, leading to it releasing unexpectedly during a crash and causing a driver or passenger to go through the windshield. This type of defect can also involve the seatbelt not fully retracting, leaving too much slack for it to correctly restrain drivers or passengers during a wreck.

When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident Involving Defects or Recalls

While every auto recall or car defects case is unique, victims and their families should always speak with a Washington DC car wreck and injury attorney after a crash. Consumers hurt by defective car parts need to know their legal rights and the best options available to them moving forward.

Auto defect cases can be extremely complex. Technical experts and accident reconstruction specialists may be needed to strength claims when facing off against auto industry giants, their insurance company and high-priced legal departments focused on discrediting their cases.

Depending on how long an automaker or auto parts manufacturer knew about the car defect, the company and its legal team may have been preparing to battle you in court long before your auto defect or recall-related accident happened. To them, paying the cost of settling after an accident caused by a known defect may have cost them less in the long run than recalling or fixing the issue. Putting their profits over the safety of people is one way manufacturers endanger everyone sharing the road, and one reason why you need to fight back with an experienced product liability lawyer on your side – making them understand why these dangerous practices are ultimately bad for business.

You need experienced legal representation fighting for your rights as soon as possible following a crash. Every moment that passes after an accident involving a faulty car part, such as an airbag defect, evidence crucial to your case could be lost if it is not gathered and preserved right away.

How Long Do I Have to File an Auto Defect Claim?

Statutes of limitation for product liability involving injury, wrongful death and property damage could complicate your case. A statute of limitation is a term that describes the amount of time someone has to file a claim before losing the ability to bring legal action.

Auto defect statutes of limitations vary from state to state, and the statutes for cases involving injury, wrongful death and damages to property are all different. For defect claims for personal injury in the Metropolitan area:

  • Washington, D.C. – The statute for product liability cases is three years from the date when an injury occurred or date the injury was discovered
  • Maryland – The statute is three years from date of injury
  • Virginia – The product liability statute for cases is two years from the date of injury

Not filing an auto defect case in time could prevent a survivor or the family of a fatal accident victim from bringing those at fault to justice through a civil lawsuit. Learn what statute of limitations may apply to your auto recall or car part defect claim by calling our firm today.


You and your family do not have to face the aftermath of an accident caused by a defective part recall, an airbag injury or any other type of car or truck crash caused by a faulty component alone. The auto defect attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. have helped injury survivors and the families of fatal accident victims make sure those responsible for their pain and suffering are held accountable to the full extent of the law. We want to help you too.

Our product liability attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not owe attorney fees unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement on your behalf. Call us, click on the chat live link at the top of the page or fill out our online contact form to set up a no-obligation consultation with an experienced car defect lawyer today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.