Auto Product Liability

While the majority of today's vehicles are relatively free from defects, there are a percentage that are sold on the consumer market that are later found to have inherent design or manufacturing defects. When a person is injured as a direct result of an automotive defect, they may have grounds to file a personal injury claim.

When a person files a claim for damages that resulted from the dangerous or defective automobile, the plaintiff is asserting a product liability claim against the automobile's manufacturer or the manufacturer of the defective part or system.

Product liability claims usually fall into two categories: defectively manufactured vehicle parts or vehicles, and vehicles with an unreasonably dangerous design.

Defectively manufactured vehicles or parts: In this scenario, the vehicle parts were not manufactured correctly. In such cases, the manufacturing facility may have made an error, or there may have been a problem with the shipping, the dealership, or the supplier.

Unreasonably dangerous design: While a vehicle may have been manufactured correctly, the unreasonably dangerous design resulted in injury or other damages.

Concerning Automotive Defects

In recent years, unintended acceleration reports caused very poor publicity for the Audi 5000, and in 2010, Toyota initiated a massive recall for many of its popular Toyota models after complaints of a "sticky pedal" causing sudden, unintended acceleration.

Other examples of auto product cases:

  • Ford Pinto gas tank cases (the cheaper design caused a dramatically increased risk of explosions)
  • GM ignition switch recalls
  • Rollover (due to defective design in many SUVs)
  • Roof crush
  • Seatbelt failure (e.g. false latch can contribute to serious injury and death)
  • Tire defects
  • Motorcycles that wobble at high speeds
  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that rollover

Who is responsible?

In the case of a defective automobile, there may be more than one defendant; for example, the defendants may include any one or more of the following: the manufacturer, the parts manufacturer, the car dealership, the automotive supply shop, or the shipper.

Even if you were a passenger in the defective vehicle, or if you were borrowing someone else's car, you may still have a valid auto product liability claim. If you were in an accident and the other driver was driving a defective motor vehicle, you may both have a claim against the manufacturer.

To learn more about auto product liability claims, contact a Missouri personal injury attorney from DeFeo & Kolker, LLC. With more than 30 years of collective experience and thousands of cases under their belts, they stand ready to help you. Call (314) 684-8285 for a free case evaluation.