When does an auto defect become the subject of a recall?

Although each year’s new lineup of motor vehicle designs may boast increasingly high-tech features, a consumer needs only to visit the complaint section of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to see that imperfections persist.

Yet there is an important distinction to be made between disappointments over advertised product features, versus actual product defects. In a motor vehicle, a faulty design or defective part could result in serious injuries. For example, a vehicle’s crashworthiness must meet certain regulatory standards. Seat belts or airbags that malfunction could fail to protect drivers or passengers in a crash. Tire problems could translate into a crash, especially for vehicles traveling at high speeds.

If the NHTSA investigates a complaint and determines that a design defect exists, it has the authority to issue a recall. The recent recall involving a brand of airbags is one example. Manufacturers may also issue a voluntary recall after being put on notice of faulty product issues. However, sometimes it takes a product liability lawsuit to put events into motion.

It may seem daunting to bring a product liability claim against a large company. Indeed, proving a flaw in a complex product, such as a motor vehicle, may require sophisticated analysis by an expert. However, our law firm focuses on this area of law, and we have strategies for both collecting relevant evidence and weaving it into a persuasive narrative for the jury. If a dangerous product has injured you, consult with an attorney about the next steps you should take.

Source: Huffington Post, “How Does a Vehicle Get a Recall?” Sam Dillinger, April 7, 2015

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