Motor Vehicle Defects

By Peter DePaolis

cars on the highwayEveryone knows that a variety of factors can cause car accidents. From texting while driving to other forms of driver error, car accidents seem to be a common occurrence throughout Maryland. However, there is another growing cause of accidents across the nation—vehicle defects or defective vehicle parts.

When a company designs or manufactures a vehicle or a vehicle component, the car or part manufacturer has a duty to design and manufacture its product carefully as well as safely. This means these companies must use proper testing procedures and follow governmental regulations to prevent defective car parts and safety defects. If a car or truck has a design or manufacturing flaw, it can result in costly repairs, dangerous vehicles, serious motor vehicle accidents, and even fatal car accidents to innocent consumers.

You have rights as a consumer to hold car companies accountable if their negligence causes severe car accident injury or the wrongful death of a family member. A successful car defect lawsuit not only secures compensation to help you recover from your personal injuries, but it can also change the way automobile and car part manufacturers do their jobs for the better.

When these companies cut corners to save money and hurt consumers, the car defect lawyers at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. want to help you fight back by holding negligent automotive companies financially accountable and giving them incentives to make safer vehicles in the future. Our product liability attorneys provide the following information about why manufacturing and design defects occur, how to learn if your vehicle has a safety recall and what our Maryland car accident attorneys can do to help.

Automotive Design Defects and Product Liability Claims

If a car or auto parts company designs a product and that is inherently dangerous, the automotive design of the vehicle or component may be defective. For example, a defectively designed seat belt might unlatch because of the way the designers shaped the latch plate or the buckle, rather than the way the vehicle manufacturer put the parts together. Other common defectively designed automobile parts include airbags, tires, roofs, and fuel tanks or fuel systems.

Product designers may be responsible for any car accident death or personal injury caused by the failure of the product design. A car defect accident lawyer can help you understand if the design of a vehicle or a part within the vehicle contributed to or caused your collision. We have the resources to gather essential evidence from auto companies, which may prove they were aware of dangerous designs but chose to move forward with creating defective vehicles or vehicle parts anyways.

Car Manufacturer Vehicle Defects Accidents

A manufacturing defect is a defect in the manner in which the manufacturer builds a vehicle or a car part. If the manufacturer performs shoddy work, uses inferior materials, improperly assembles or incorrectly installs parts on vehicles, the car or truck can malfunction due to a manufacturing defect.

Common manufacturing defects that can lead to a car accident injury or fatal accident include:

  • Brakes
  • Steering components
  • Door latches
  • Weak windshield glass that allows for the ejection of a driver or passenger from a vehicle in the event of a car accident

For example, if your seat belt breaks during a collision because the manufacturer carelessly made or installed the seat belt, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you build a case against the auto manufacturer for a manufacturing defect.

Our auto defect attorneys believe that manufacturers and dealers responsible for failing to fix dangerous defects or knowingly sold defective vehicles should be held responsible for the damage defective manufacturing caused in defective car lawsuits.

Does My Car Have Safety Recalls? Preventing Accidents from Defective Vehicles and Car Parts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a government agency under the Department of Transportation. The NHTSA enforces safety standards for motor vehicles to protect consumers. If the NHTSA determines that a vehicle or one of its component parts is defective, it can issue a recall. A safety recall means the manufacturers must either fix the defect or take the vehicle back.

The NHTSA can issue vehicle recalls for two reasons:

  • If the vehicle’s design or manufacture violates any Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
  • If the vehicle or any of its component parts has a safety-related defect

If a manufacturer fails to comply with a recall and you are involved in a car accident because of the recalled defect, or if the recall occurs too late, you may have a reason to call a car defect law firm near you. We have accident attorneys in Maryland ready to assist.

To find out more information about vehicle and component part recalls, visit the NHTSA online resource center to look up your vehicle by its VIN. You can also read our guide on how to find safety recalls on vehicles before accidents occur.

Maryland Vehicle Defect Lawyer for Auto Defect Injury Claims

The dedicated auto defect attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P can help you recover from your losses and hold the car company responsible for its defective work. For more than 30 years, we have helped individuals and families throughout Maryland. Contact a car defect lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.

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.