Defects Which Cause Accidents
Many defects can cause a vehicle to crash. These defects are not always noticeable until an accident occurs.
SUVs and 15 passenger vans. Rollover accidents are rare but deadly. Although they account for only three percent of all auto accidents, they are involved in over 30% of fatal accident. Any type of vehicle can roll, given the right conditions, but vehicles with a high center of gravity can roll very easily.
Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and 15 passenger vans are among the vehicles most likely to roll due to design flaws, including a high center of gravity. As passengers and cargo are added to the vehicles, they become even more top heavy. Adding to the danger is the fact that these vehicles are common recipient of defective tires and the fact that they often have poor roof crush resistance.
Tires. A blowout can cause a vehicle to go out of control or roll. Defective tires have become a very common problem. Most drivers know to watch out for worn or old tires, but a defective tire can fail after very little mileage and while it still looks brand new. Tread separation is the most common cause of blowouts in defective tires. While the Firestone recall is well known, many consumers are not aware of the many defective spare tires , left over from that recall, the defective tires from China , and other less publicized tire recalls.
Brakes. Defective brakes can fail suddenly, with no warning. Design flaws or improper installation can cause brake failure. Brake systems are very complex and parts that can fail include discs, rotors, hydraulic lines, and calipers.
Acceleration. Spontaneous acceleration can occur when a vehicle is at a complete stop or when it is in motion. Acceleration defects can cause the vehicle to suddenly lurch forward or backwards from a stop, can mean unintentionally speeding up while in motion, or a failure to slow down when letting off the gas.
Crashworthiness refers to a vehicle’s ability to protect occupants in the event of an accident, not its likelihood to crash. Defects which affect a vehicle’s crashworthiness cause more harm in the event of a crash.
Roof crush. Inadequate roof crush resistance allows the roof of the vehicle to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle, usually during a rollover. This is usually due to hollow roof pillars and weak roof headers and side walls. In some vehicles the absence of a roll bar increases the likelihood of roof crush.
Seat belts and child restraints. Latch failure, slack, and belts which apply force in a direction that causes secondary impact can cause worse injuries than not wearing a seat belt at all. Manufacturing defects and design flaws in child restraints can turn a safety device into a death trap.
Air bags. Defective air bags can deploy with too much force, deploy when there is no crash, causing an accident, or fail to deploy at all.
Fuel-fed fire. Poorly designed or poorly placed fuel tanks can explode during even a minor accident. Fuel delivery systems which are faulty or poorly designed can cause gas leaks, creating a fire.
Door latches. A faulty door latch can allow doors to open during a crash, ejecting occupants. Ejection can cause serious injuries or death in an accident which otherwise would have resulted in only minor injuries or no injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident due to a defective vehicle, contact an experienced defective vehicle attorney today.