Auto Product Liability
Auto accidents aren’t always caused by other drivers, driver distraction, hazardous roadways, or bad weather. Sometimes, a defective part in the automobile itself can cause a crash or make the injuries from an accident worse. When safety equipment or other automobile parts don’t work properly, the results can be devastating.
Dealing with any type of car crash is challenging and often confusing. However, dealing with a car crash involving a defective vehicle or faulty vehicle component can be legally challenging. The experienced Providence RI auto accident lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush, Rhode Island’s premier personal injury law firm, have the knowledge, experience, and resources to build strong and effective cases against major auto companies and manufacturers to ensure that auto accident victims obtain just compensation. With unwavering commitment to our clients, we make it our priority to ensure that each person we represent has his or her rights fully protected.
Identifying Unsafe Auto Products
The U.S. Code for Motor Vehicle Safety defines a “defect” in an auto product or part as “any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment” (Title 49, Chapter 301). Typically, a defective or unsafe auto product is one that both poses a risk to safety and that may exist in a group of vehicles of the same make, model, or manufacture, or a batch of similar auto products.
Nearly any auto product may be defective, but some defects are more common than others. Some examples of defective auto products that may cause liability for an accident and/or injuries include:
- Faulty air bags
- Steering column components that break, causing a loss of vehicle control;
- Fuel system components that allow leaks or fires;
- Accelerator or brake controls that lock up or stick;
- Wheels, tires, or wheel parts that break, crack, or get stuck, which can also cause a loss of vehicle control;
- Windshield wipers that don’t work properly, causing a driver’s vision to become obstructed;
- Faulty seats or seat backs that break during normal use or in a collision; and
- Any other critical vehicle design feature or components that malfunction in some way, causing a loss of control or other dangers to those in the vehicle.
Auto Product Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) develops and issues the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), which set minimum safety requirements for a wide range of auto parts and auto products. Auto products and parts must meet or exceed the FMVSS that apply to them. The FMVSS apply to all vehicles sold in the U.S. for use on public roads, no matter where they are manufactured or assembled.
When an auto product fails to live up to the standards set by the FMVSS, it may be recalled by the NHTSA, the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of the product. The NHTSA monitors recalls to ensure that auto products manufacturers, sellers, and distributors correct safety problems properly at no cost to the vehicle’s owners.
Products may also be recalled if they contain a defect that poses a safety hazard, even if the product or part seems to meet the FMVSS requirements. The existence or non-existence of a recall does not automatically resolve the issue of liability. Whether or not the manufacturer, seller, or distributor can be held liable depends on the individual situation and ordinarily requires expert testimony to establish the existence of a defect.
Dedicated to Personal, Social, and Economic Justice
Auto product defects can cause serious injuries and fatalities. When this happens, those who were responsible for allowing the defective product to reach the market should be held accountable for the harm their actions have caused. At Marasco ” Nesselbush, our experienced Rhode Island product liability attorneys are dedicated to providing outstanding representation for each of our clients and fighting for personal, economic, and social justice. To discuss your specific situation with us, please call us today at 855-213-0404 for a free and confidential consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Warwick, Wakefield, Woonsocket, and Providence and are here to help you.