Automobile Defects and Recalls in South Carolina

Automobile Defects

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When a product is put on the market, we expect it to comply with safety standards. We certainly expect that the manufacturer or seller will take precautions to protect us from any unnecessary harm. Our expectations are even higher when the product is a vehicle made for everyday use that weighs a ton or more and is capable of speeds well in excess of 70 mph.

Unfortunately, the cars we rely on in our daily lives are sometimes released into the marketplace with faulty parts or defective designs. Forbes counted down the top recalls of 2012 and estimated that automakers recalled as many as 14.3 current and past model vehicles over the course of the year. These recalls included millions of vehicles.

The high number of car recalls illustrates a disturbing trend: many cars find their way to the market with auto defects, many of which present significant dangers to drivers or others on the road. Those defects can lead to catastrophic injuries and fatal car accidents on South Carolina’s roads and highways. Car makers need to be held responsible when they release these defective products, and an experienced South Carolina automotive defect lawyer can help.

Types of Auto Defects and Reasons for Recalls

A defect is an imperfection that renders the car or its parts unsafe for its intended or reasonably foreseeable uses. Many different types of auto defects can cause accidents or put drivers at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Motor Vehicle Safety Defects and Recalls Book, recalls are necessary if vehicles fail to comply with federal safety rules or if a safety issue is created by a vehicle defect.

Reasons for recalls as defined by NHTSA include:

  • Brake problems
  • Tire issues
  • Problems with the vehicle lights
  • Air bag issues, including air bags that don’t deploy when needed or that deploy too easily
  • Problems with seat belts or child restraints
  • Improperly designed or defective steering columns
  • Steering components susceptible to breakage
  • Fuel system components susceptible to leakage or likely to cause fires
  • Accelerators that stick or break
  • Wheels prone to cracking or breaking
  • Windshield wiper systems that don’t work to ensure visibility
  • Seats that don’t provide proper support or that fail
  • Critical vehicle parts that are prone to break away from the car or to become damaged and unusable
  • Wiring issues that could cause a fire
  • Wiring problems that could result in the loss of the use of headlights, affecting visibility
  • Weak engine cooling fan blades
  • Jacks prone to collapse.

These are a few of the major auto defects that could result in a vehicle’s being recalled. According to NHTSA, more than 390 million vehicles have been recalled since 1966 when NHTSA began setting safety standards. The recalls included not just passenger cars but also other vehicles, such as RVs, vans, trucks and motorcycles. Tires have also been recalled in large numbers, with 46 million tires recalled in addition to the 390 million vehicles.

Responsibility for Auto Defects

In an auto defect liability case, the law may find blame with multiple individuals or companies involved in the manufacture and sale of a car or its components. The designer, the manufacturer, the supplier or the dealer may ultimately be found liable for any injury caused by the car’s defect.

When an automotive defect is to blame for a crash, product liability rules apply, and those include strict liability. These rules essentially say that manufacturers can be held responsible for injuries that arise as a direct result of an automotive defect without requiring a showing of negligence on the part of the manufacturer.

An Auto Defect Lawyer Can Help

Defective auto cases require a thorough investigation by an experienced legal team to determine which individuals and companies should be named as defendants and which legal theories should be pursued. It is also essential in auto defect cases to take prompt measures to preserve evidence, document the chain of custody of the car, and to enable various expert witnesses to carefully evaluate the car that caused your injuries.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident or harmed as the result of a defective car in South Carolina, contact the Louthian Law Firm now for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent auto accident victims on a contingency basis, meaning we do not collect any fees until we win your case.

Call our auto recall lawyers toll free at 888-662-9821 or locally in Columbia at 803-454-1200. You can also fill out our online contact form. We are located in Columbia, but our firm represents car, truck and motorcycle accident victims throughout South Carolina.