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When Can Manufacturers Be Liable for Car Accidents?

When Can Manufacturers Be Liable for Car Accidents?

Recent reports are confirming that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to investigate the 2013-2015 Honda Accord after receiving numerous complaints of loss of steering control.

The NHTSA received 107 complaints and two reports of injuries with regards to the vehicle’s steering ability during driving under normal conditions. The investigation will cover more than 1.1 million Honda Accord vehicles and could result in a recall depending on the findings. Honda also issued a statement saying the company will be cooperating with the NHTSA on the investigation.

The investigation is based on a petition filed by an owner of a 2013 Accord, who stated that they lost steering control without warning and deviated from the path of travel, repeatedly turning “90 degrees of its own volition.” The NHTSA will conduct an engineering analysis to assess the problem. Concerned Honda Accord owners can refer to the recalls site for updated information.

When Can Manufacturers Be Held Liable for Damages?

As this recent investigation shows, not all car crashes are caused by negligent drivers—sometimes, a car defect can contribute to dangerous driving conditions. Despite the fact that car safety features have improved over the last few decades, there are still many vehicles and vehicle part recalls every year. According to the NHTSA, vehicle defects were responsible for 44,000 of the 2.2 million accidents reviewed in one of their recent surveys.

Some examples of common safety-related defects that have led to recalls in the past include:

  • Airbags that deploy when they should not, or airbags that fail to deploy when they should
  • Steering components that break or cause loss of control
  • Windshield wipers that don’t work properly
  • Defective seat belts
  • Broken wheels that cause loss of control of the vehicle
  • Electrical system issues that lead to fires
  • Defective fuel system components that leak and cause fires

When a dangerous vehicle part, like a faulty braking system, contributes to an accident and injuries, victims may be eligible to file personal injury claims against the manufacturer responsible for making the part, also known as product liability. Manufacturers, designers, and distributors have a responsibility to produce safe products that aren’t defective or harmful. This is how victims can obtain compensation to cover their medical bills and property damage and how recalls end up being issued.

Perhaps the most famous example of a product liability case in recent memory is the wrongful death lawsuit the family of Anton Yelchin filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after the famous actor was crushed by his Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2016. The vehicle rolled away unexpectedly and struck Yelchin against a mailbox pillar and security fence at his home, leading to the recall of the 2015 Grand Cherokee because of its gear shifters.

Holding Auto Manufacturers Accountable in Colorado Springs

As consumers, we deserve to use the products we purchase without fear of being injured or possibly killed. So when auto manufacturers make mistakes and cause car crashes, they should be held liable for damages and the pain they’ve caused drivers, passengers, and their family members. At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, our Colorado Springs product liability lawyers are passionate about seeking justice on behalf of our clients. We’ve handled many product liability claims, including those involving defective medical implants, toxic children’s toys, and more.

Injured in a car accident in Colorado Springs or elsewhere in the surroundings areas? Call Clawson & Clawson, LLP today at (719) 602-5888 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation, or reach out to us online.

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