Many people believe that if a vehicle is unsafe in some way, the manufacturer will issue a recall to repair the problem. While this is sometimes the case, it isn’t always. The overwhelming majority of cars on our roads are safe, however, some may not be.
When you design and manufacture hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks, there’s a chance of mistakes in design or manufacture that may make it through rigorous quality and safety checks and onto the roads. In some cases, a defective design may cause malfunctions; while in other circumstances, the manufacturing plant may produce a defective product from a sound design. Defects such as malfunctioning brake or steering controls may cause a crash.
Most mechanics do an excellent job of repairing your vehicle; often diagnosing and fixing mechanical or electrical problems the vehicle’s owner may not have been aware of. However, sometimes a problem may escape a mechanic’s scrutiny and later lead to a crash. In other cases, a mechanic may correctly diagnose an issue with a vehicle, but fail to properly repair the problem.
Vehicle owners are responsible for maintaining their cars safely. Replacing worn tires, malfunctioning lights and keeping the windows clean are part of basic auto maintenance. Knowingly driving a car that isn’t safe is negligence, and can lead to a crash as readily as distracted driving, drunk driving or any other form of reckless behavior.
Who Could be Liable?
If you’re injured in a defective vehicle accident, who should be held accountable? As with any personal injury case, proving liability can rely on two key factors: foreseeability and prevention. Any person or company who fails to prevent a condition that can foreseeably cause harm may be liable for damages stemming from that harm. This could be an auto manufacturer, a repair facility, or in some cases, a vehicle owner.