What are common reasons for lawsuits for auto defects? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Automobiles are a central part of modern life, offering convenience and mobility. However, when auto defects occur, they can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Personal injury lawsuits related to auto defects are legal claims filed by individuals who have suffered harm due to faulty vehicles or their components. In this article, we will explore some common reasons for personal injury lawsuits arising from auto defects.

Design Defects

Design defects involve flaws in the original blueprint of a vehicle or its components. These defects can lead to inherent dangers that compromise the safety of drivers, passengers, and others on the road. Examples of design defects include poorly designed braking systems, unstable frames, faulty fuel systems, and inadequate crash protection. When an accident occurs due to a design defect, injured parties may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the automaker or the designer.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects occur during the production process and result in individual vehicles or parts being flawed. Even if the design is sound, a defect during manufacturing can lead to critical safety issues. Manufacturing defects might include faulty airbags, defective tires, malfunctioning steering systems, or subpar welding, all of which can lead to accidents and injuries. Manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by these defects.

Faulty Airbags and Seatbelts

Airbags and seatbelts are critical safety features designed to protect vehicle occupants during an accident. If these components fail to function properly, serious injuries can occur. Common issues include airbags that deploy unexpectedly, fail to deploy during a collision, or rupture upon deployment, causing additional harm. Similarly, seatbelt malfunctions or defects can lead to occupants being ejected from the vehicle during an accident, resulting in severe injuries.

Electronic and Software Failures

Modern vehicles increasingly rely on sophisticated electronic and software systems to operate efficiently. However, malfunctions in these systems can have severe consequences. Electronic failures might lead to sudden acceleration, brake failure, or loss of steering control, resulting in accidents and injuries. In such cases, injured parties may file personal injury lawsuits against the automaker, software developers, or component manufacturers.

Acceleration Issues

Acceleration-related defects can result in unintended acceleration, where the vehicle unexpectedly speeds up without the driver’s input. Such defects can lead to high-speed collisions and catastrophic injuries. These issues might stem from faulty throttle systems, electronic glitches, or unintended interactions between vehicle components. Victims injured in accidents related to acceleration defects can seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits.

Rollover and Roof Crush

Vehicles with a high risk of rollover accidents or weak roofs are particularly dangerous in collisions. Rollover accidents can occur due to a combination of factors, including top-heavy designs, inadequate stability control, or tire defects. Roof crush occurs when a vehicle’s roof structure fails to protect occupants during a rollover, leading to severe head and neck injuries. Auto manufacturers may be held accountable for injuries resulting from these defects.