Automobile manufacturers have an obligation to design cars with safety as the number one priority. Our attorneys know that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes an automobile is defective in design and the manufacturer knowingly fails to warn consumers of such problems. Below is a list of auto defects that can lead to severe injury or death in the event of an accident.
Seatbelts are part of the safety system designed to protect the occupants of a vehicle in the event of an accident and should be worn properly at all times while the vehicle is in operation. Properly designed and manufactured seatbelts can save those wearing them from serious injury or death. Sometimes, however, seatbelts fail to secure the user in the event of an accident and can cause whiplash, ejection, and other devastating injuries. Typical forms of seatbelt failure include:
- Inadvertent or unintentional unlatching. This occurs when the buckle latch is easily unintentionally disengaged.
- Seat lap belt only. This occurs when there is no diagonal shoulder strap to restrain the upper torso.
- Excessive seat belt slack. This occurs when the shoulder strap does not snuggly fit across the occupant’s chest.
- Shoulder belt spool-out injuries. This occurs when the shoulder strap does not lock in the event of an accident.
- Seatback failure. This occurs when the seatback collapses due to the seatbelt pressing the weight of the occupant against the seat back in a rear end collision.
Improperly manufactured or designed tires can cause serious injury or death. The most common and widespread defects include:
- Tire inflation explosion. This occurs when the tire explodes during inflation due to bead, sidewall or rim failure.
- Tread or belt separation. This occurs when the thread of steel belted radial tires separates from the rest of the tire.
- Tire Aging. When a tire has been in service for too long and the tread is worn out, the tire is subject to various mechanisms of failure, including blow outs and tread separations.
Gas Tank Defects
Vehicles are required to be designed with the safety of occupants in mind. Yet many injuries and deaths each year are caused when collisions cause fires and explosions due to defective gas tanks. Most of the gas tank-related injuries caused by defective design and manufacture of the vehicle are due to the placement of the vehicle’s gas tank. Cracks in the tank or separation of the tank from the fuel line can also lead to serious and sometimes fatal fires.
Airbags are designed to provide a cushion for the vehicle driver and passengers to help minimize the impact of a collision. It is estimated that a properly functioning airbag will reduce the risk of fatal injury by 30 percent. When the airbag module is defective and fails to perform its proper role, drivers and passengers can be at risk of significant physical injury. An airbag malfunction can be caused by a number of issues, which include:
- Poorly manufactured propellant wafers can be prematurely set off under certain conditions, especially in hot and humid climates. In these cases, airbags have been known to explode, firing a barrage of metal shards at the driver or passenger.
- Airbags often do not work when the car is turned off. Some vehicles may suffer from faulty ignition switches, where the car will turn off while driving because of unintentional contact between the driver and the keychain. Under these circumstances, if the ignition switch problem causes an accident, the airbags may fail to deploy.
- In newer vehicles, electronic sensors are responsible for switching airbags on when a driver or passenger is seated. If these sensors are defective or not working well, the airbags may fail to deploy.
- Lack of side curtain or canopy airbag systems.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective automobile please contact the attorneys at Pope McGlamry, we will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation please contact out attorneys at (Atlanta-877-285-7656 or Columbus-877-265-7656) or contact us online.