There are more than 30,000 parts in the average car; below, we introduce 10 parts that most often fail due to product defects.
If you suffered an injury due to the failure of a defective auto part, a Florida product liability attorney with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath may be able to help you obtain compensation from the negligent manufacturer.
Please give us a call at (561) 655-1990 or use our online contact form for a free consultation. Put our more than 30 years of experience to work for you.
When most people put on a seatbelt, they rightfully assume they will be protected from a severe injury should a crash occur. Unfortunately, manufacturers will sometimes make seatbelts in a negligent fashion, and they fail when drivers and passengers need them the most. Reasons include broken latches, poorly made webbing, a failed tension detector, and more.
The airbag is supposed to be an integral line of defense in the event of an accident, but when it fails, the results can be fatal. When the airbag deploys when it’s not supposed to, it can be just as deadly. Airbags sometimes deploy with too much force, leading to severe injuries.
3. Brakes and Power Steering
Anyone who has ever suddenly lost their brakes when driving can attest to how terrifying the feeling can be. Brakes don’t always fail due to wear and tear, or due to a lack of brake fluid. They might have been negligently manufactured.
The loss of power steering can be just as treacherous. The vast majority of automobiles didn’t even have power steering until the 1950s. It took a great deal of strength just to drive to the grocery store and back. But we’ve become accustomed to this feature. When it fails, a vehicle can become nearly impossible to control, despite your strength.
4. Accelerator Controls
If the accelerator sticks or fails to work in the manner it should, it can also result in a devastating collision. Imagine a scenario where you were pushing on the accelerator to reach the speed of surrounding traffic, then when you took your foot off the gas pedal, you continued to speed up despite there being no pressure on the pedal.
Such a situation could quickly become very dangerous for you and the other people on the road. (If this does happen, remain calm. Gradually apply the brake and shift the car into neutral as you slow down to nearly zero. While doing this, find a safe spot to pull over so you can come to a complete stop.)
5. Windows and Door Latches
You might not think of a window as a potentially defective auto part, but it serves as a layer of protection for you and your passengers. If a door latch should fail while the car is in motion, that could obviously be a disaster.
When either a window or a door latch malfunctions during an accident, a driver or passenger could be ejected from the vehicle, or may not be able to get out of the car in an emergency.
The backs of a vehicle’s seats are for more than comfort and functionality–they’re designed to help prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. When a seatback fails, it will typically snap backward, increasing the risk for a potentially permanent spinal cord injury.
This defect could also lead to anyone in the back of the vehicle being seriously hurt. If a child is in the back seat, they could easily suffer a potentially fatal injury.
The tires are obviously critical to a vehicle’s safe operation. Blowouts don’t only happen because you’ve run over something on the road or because they aren’t properly inflated, they can happen because the tire wall was made too thin or the tire has cracked or malfunctioned in some way even under its mileage warranty.
Defective tires can explode and cause you to lose control of your car, sometimes leading to a rollover or other type of accident.
8. Windshield Wipers
It can be a helpless feeling to be driving during a Florida thunderstorm and all of sudden realize that your windshield wipers don’t work. When defective wipers fail, it can be nearly impossible for a driver to be able to see, almost assuredly leading to a terrible accident.
If you’re ever in this situation, turn on your hazard light immediately and do your best to get off of the road in the safest possible manner.
Like defective wipers, headlights that malfunction can make driving safely nearly impossible. This is especially the case for drivers traveling at night on rural roads that don’t have nearly enough high-mast lights.
Not only are they at a higher risk for colliding with other vehicles, they’re also more likely to run off of the road completely, especially if they come upon an unexpected curve, or to hit something in the road that they couldn’t see, like a deer or an alligator.
10. Electrical Components
Vehicles today contain extremely sophisticated electrical components, many of which control vital parts, such as the engine, braking system, and fuel system, among other systems. A failure will not only cause that part to stop working, but it could spark a potentially fatal fire.
Stay Informed About Auto Part Recalls
You owe it to yourself to stay as up to date as possible regarding any recalls that might affect your vehicle. Manufacturers are required to provide notices of defective auto parts, but you should do periodic online searches to see if there are any recalls on your car. You can also call a local dealer to have them check as they can tell you how it can be fixed.
Injured in a crash and think a defective part could be to blame? We can help.
The attorneys with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have an extensive amount of experience in defective auto part cases. Please don’t hesitate to call (561) 655-1990 to schedule a free, no obligation review of your case.