Defective Vehicle Design
Auto Product Liability Attorney: Design Defects
Design defects are intended elements of the design itself that are defective. For example, if an automobile does not promote safety of its occupants due to the design of its frame, design defects are evident. A design defect is also present when the risks a design poses are greater than its benefits.
Defective vehicle design is a key area of concern when it comes to auto accidents. Design defects may cause an accident to occur or may result in an occupant sustaining injuries that would have been avoided if the vehicle had been properly designed and manufactured. As product liability lawyers, we recognize the legal obligation that automobile designers and manufacturers have to produce vehicles that are free from design and manufacturing defects. We believe in holding manufacturers accountable when a poorly designed vehicle causes serious injury to a driver, passenger or other individual.
An auto product liability attorney at our firm can talk to you about what your claim may be worth and how we can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries. Your initial consultation is free and completely confidential – call today to learn more!
Vehicle Design Flaws Affect Occupant Safety
The following vehicle design defects may affect occupant safety and a driver's ability to avoid a collision in the first place.
Design flaws in a braking system may not always be noticeable until they fail, causing an accident and injuries to vehicle occupants.
Rollover Risk / Center of Gravity Flaws
Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), pick-up trucks and mini-vans are the most likely vehicles to be designed with a high center of gravity. This places these vehicles at a much higher risk of a rollover.
Design flaws that produce slack in a belt or cause seat belt latches to fail during an accident expose occupants to serious injuries. Seatbelt webbing that fractures in the event of a crash can cause passengers to be thrown about during impact and collide with the vehicle's interior.
Fuel Tank Design
Fuel tanks that are placed incorrectly or are badly designed are likely to present a risk of explosion during an accident. Also, faulty fuel tank design can cause gas leaks, resulting in explosions and fire hazards.
Seats that collapse during an accident can cause major injuries to occupants. Design defects can affect the stability of the anchor, seatback and seat headrest, leading to seats that are ripped from the rails in the event of a crash, causing serious injuries.
Tires that are incorrectly designed can lead to loss of road grip during an accident. Poor design can also cause tires to blow out, causing the vehicle to run out of control, and contributing to a rollover.
Defective Steering Design
Any defect in the steering mechanism of the automobile or parts of its design system can cause a motorist to lose control of a vehicle, leading to an accident.
Safety Standards and Vehicle Design Defects
Since 1996 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was authorized to set standards for automobile safety and require automobile companies to recall defective vehicles, millions of automobiles including passenger cars, commercial trucks and motorcycles have been withdrawn from the market.
Often, auto manufacturers cut back on correct design processes in an effort to cut costs and speed up delivery schedules. By the time a defective vehicle is recalled, it could have contributed to several accidents and injuries.
If you were injured in any type of car accident that was caused or worsened due to a design defect in the vehicle or any part of the vehicle, you may be able to take legal action. Contact a product liability lawyer at our firm today.