Automobile manufacturers are required to go to great lengths to ensure that cars perform properly under normal driving conditions and protect occupants from serious injuries in a crash. Or if the design or manufacturing of the vehicle fails to protect a driver or passenger in a foreseeable crash, a lawsuit against the manufacturer under the theory of crashworthiness may be warranted.
Our attorneys represent clients in lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries due to defective motor vehicles, whether as a result of delayed recalls, safety-related defects, or the failure to protect occupants from injuries in a crash.
Some examples of safety defects include sudden malfunction of steering components, susceptibility of fuel system components in a crash, sticky accelerator controls, risk of fire in the wiring system, unintended airbag deployment, and defective safety belts. If you are injured in an accident resulting from a defective vehicle or component part, you may be entitled to compensation.
Delayed Recalls & Crashworthiness
When a safety-related defect is discovered by the manufacturer, they are required to report it to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A safety-related defect is any unreasonable risk of accident or unreasonable risk of injury because of the design, construction or performance of a motor vehicle. If they fail to report a known safety defect in a group of vehicles or item of equipment, significant fines can be imposed by the government. Liability for serious injuries to occupants can also be imposed in the judicial system for failure to follow the proper procedures to notify vehicle owners that their car may be unsafe to drive. In the event of an accident or injury caused by a known defect, juries rarely look favorably upon the acts of the auto manufacturer.
Cars are designed to protect their occupants during a crash. If the vehicle’s structure fails to perform adequately in a foreseeable crash, the manufacturer may be liable for the injuries that result. The classic example of a failure of crashworthiness is the GM pickup trucks that had side-saddle fuel tanks that gained media attention in the 1990s due to allegations of an increased risk of explosion in a crash.
If you are an employee of an auto manufacturer, parts supplier or dealer that has information about a delayed safety recall that has not been disclosed to the NHTSA, you can learn more on our website about the possibility of rewards for reporting through the auto whistleblower program.