Modern vehicles are designed to ensure our safety and convenience on the roads. What happens when a defect leads to a car crash? Can manufacturers be held liable for the consequences of their faulty products?
Products liability and defective vehicles or parts
Products liability refers to the legal responsibility of certain parties for injuries caused by their defective products. This principle extends to the automotive industry. Defects can take various forms, including:
- Design defects: These defects stem from inherent flaws in the vehicle's design that make it unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. An example could be a vehicle with a high risk of rolling over due to design flaws that compromise its stability.
- Manufacturing defects: These occur during the production process and result in specific vehicles or parts being different from the intended design.
- Marketing defects: Also known as failure-to-warn defects, these occur when manufacturers fail to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the proper use of a vehicle. For instance, a car's towing capacity might be inaccurately labeled and lead to an accident.
If a plaintiff can prove a link between the defect and the accident, multiple parties could potentially be held liable:
- Manufacturer: The primary focus is often on the vehicle's manufacturer, especially if the defect is widespread across a particular model or production batch.
- Parts supplier: If the defect involves a specific component, such as faulty brakes, the supplier of those parts might share liability.
- Dealership: In some cases, dealerships may be liable if they failed to inspect or disclose known defects before selling the vehicle.
- Repair shop: If the crash is caused by a repair shop's negligence, such as improperly installing replacement parts, they could be held liable.
If your accident was caused by a defective vehicle or part, call a seasoned Bradenton, FL personal injury attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.