Given the miles that Americans travel each year in their cars, it is incumbent upon every driver to ensure that their car, truck, or motorcycle is in good repair, but sometimes there are manufacturing defects that are out of their control. Manufacturers are obligated to design and manufacture safe vehicle and parts. Notwithstanding a manufacturer’s duty to provide safe products, vehicle defects in manufacturing and design kill and maim many motorists each year.
When the manufacturer has acted in a negligent or reckless manner by placing an unsafe vehicle on the road, the dedicated attorneys at The Solomon Law Group will use their knowledge and skill to get you the money you deserve if you were injured by a vehicle defect.
South Carolina drivers are at risk from being injured by a defective vehicle. Vehicle defects cause many accidents on South Carolina’s roads annually. In 2012 alone, according to the South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book, 1,700 accidents were caused by vehicle defects in which 14 people were killed and 722 were injured in South Carolina. Many more were injured or killed nationwide.
In an effort to increase vehicle safety while reducing injuries and deaths on America’s roads, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced safety standards for vehicle manufacturers. These standards set the bare minimum safety requirements for every vehicle, vehicle part, or safety device that is allowed to be sold in the United States, including tires.
The federal law giving the NHTSA its authority to issue safety standards defines “motor vehicle safety” broadly. The law, found at 49 U.S.C. §30102(a)(8), defines “motor vehicle safety” as “performance” or “equipment” designed to prevent the risk of accident or death in an accident because of manufacturing “design, construction or performance.”
The NHTSA will order a recall of all vehicles with components failing to meet the minimum requirements of “motor vehicle safety” or vehicles that have a “safety defect.” The NHTSA considers any item that fails to ensure “motor vehicle safety” that occurs in a larger group of vehicles from the same manufacturer.
The NHTSA lists many examples of safety defects. A few examples are:
- Steering malfunction causing loss of control;
- Faulty fuel lines and tanks that rupture upon collision, causing fires;
- Pedal controls or lines that are prone to malfunction;
- Malfunctioning windshields and windshield arms;
- Malfunctioning or inoperable safety restraints and air bags; and
- Faulty wiring systems that may cause fires.
Conversely, items that break from ordinary wear and tear and do not affect the safe operation of the vehicle are not safety items. Systems such as heating and air conditioning, brake pads, and ordinary tire wear are not considered safety items and, as such, as not subject to the minimum standards set by the NHTSA.
Proven Vehicle Defect Attorneys Will Fight for Your Rights
Vehicle defects are covered by an area of law called product liability. When a product such as a car or defective vehicle part malfunctions and causes injury or death due to a defect or negligent manufacturing, those injured can file a product liability lawsuit against the guilty party. Doing so may award the victim and their family members with financial compensation.
The proven, experienced, and dedicated Columbia, SC product liability lawyers at The Solomon Law Group will fight for the compensation that you deserve if you, or someone you love, was injured or killed by a defective vehicle or vehicle parts. Call us today at 803-219-8870 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation and learn how we can help.