Vehicles can be very dangerous even when they are working properly—to drivers, passengers, and even passersby.
Having control over your entire vehicle is very important to avoid most accidents. Cars can be especially prone to accidents when there is something internally wrong.
Automobile manufacturing defects can result in an array of personal injuries that can include passengers, drivers, and anyone else that you may have harmed from losing control of your vehicle.You can find out more about auto accident lawsuits here.
Cases that involve both a car accident and some sort of vehicle defect can be very complicated. It is important to find a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer with experience in both areas of the law.
Types of Manufacturing Defects
There are two general types of defects in the legal arena. The first is perhaps the most common. It is called a “manufacturing defect.”
This defect occurs because something went wrong in the manufacturing process—when the vehicle (or other product) was put together. This could be a human error, machine error, or some other type of faulty part or piece.
The other kind of defect is called a “design defect.” Design defects occur because the product or vehicle was not designed in a safe way. It does not matter how well it is made in a design defect. There is something about the way that it was meant to be put together that makes it more dangerous than it should be.
Terrifying Vehicle Defects
Thankfully, with the rigorous testing procedures required for vehicles in the United States, there are not many design defect cases for vehicles. You can find out more about these testing procedures by clicking here.
Manufacturing defects are far more common, and some of these defects can be terrifying:
1. Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration – Imagine that you are in your vehicle, driving along, when all of a sudden, your car starts accelerating on its own.
You can imagine that this type of situation could be terrifying and dangerous.
The scary part is this actually happened to Toyota in 2009.
In response to the issue, Toyota ultimately recalled over 9 million vehicles to fix a pedal mechanism. Given the large recall, this type of defect could have been the result of either a design flaw or a serious manufacturing problem.
Toyota was not the only brand to have this type of problem. Audis in the 1980s also struggled with unintended acceleration.
2. Firestone Tire Separation – Although this defect was not directly a problem with a car, it did cause a lot of problems because of the tire’s integral relationship with the rest of the vehicle.
In the 1990s, Firestone created a large number of tires that had poor adhesive, which caused the tire tread to actually separate while the car was being driven.
These tires were often found on the Ford Explorer, and when a tire blew and the driver maneuvered improperly, this sometimes caused the car to flip. These types of accidents obviously resulted in very serious injuries.
3. Ford’s Cruise Control Combustion – From about 1991 to 2004, Ford had a serious problem with their cruise control mechanism.
It would actually catch fire because they short-circuited. The cruise control did not even have to be engaged for this to occur. Ford ended up having to recall 14.9 million vehicles to address the problem. This proved to be the largest recall in history thus far. You can find out more about this recall here.
4. GM’s Ineffective Engine Mounts – An engine mount supports your engine in your vehicle so that it does not fall out of your car, and in some cases, on to the road.
There is a slew of problems that can result if the engine mount is not supportive enough, including unintended acceleration, and disabling the brakes. In a few GM V-8 vehicles, the engine mount would fail, causing the engine to move and twist, wreaking havoc on the inside of your car.
5. Ford’s Ignition Fires – Ford’s cars from 1988 to 1993 had a serious problem with their ignition switch. It affected 7.9 million cars, and they were not recalled until 1996—three years after the last car with this switch was built!
The ignition would actually start itself (the car was not running), and it would short out the electrical system. Then, it would start a fire that would either melt the steering column or do a lot worse, including burn down your garage or home. Amazingly, this particular defect did not result in any fatalities.
Cars are a unique balance of moving parts, fuel, electricity, and lubricants. Any defect in one of these things can result in serious or life-threatening injuries.
We Aren’t Mechanics, but We Know the Mechanics of Personal Injury in Florida…
Vehicle manufacturing defects are particularly dangerous because they could result in the loss of control of a vehicle and they could harm more than just the driver. Defects often result in various personal injury claims, and these require an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer.
Find out how Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. can help you with your case and help you get what you need and what you are entitled to in order to help you move on from your accident.