According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people died in motor vehicles crashes in 2016, a 6% rise from the previous year. While the majority of these accidents stem from driver error, a substantial number are the result of auto defects. Recalls are meant to pull defective cars from the road, but they don’t always happen in time. As a driver, it’s important for you to know which defects to look for in your car.
These are 5 of the most common auto defects:
- Seatbelts: Invented by George Cayley in the late 1800’s, seatbelts are one of the most important innovations in the automobile industry. Unfortunately, when there is a defect such as a broken latch or a malfunctioning tension detector, the consequences can be serious. The NHTSA claims that each year about 3 million people are victims of accidents caused by seatbelt defects.
- Airbags: Takata, an airbag manufacturer, paid out over $1 billion for the largest auto safety recall in U.S. history this year. These defective airbags, which are prone to exploding when deployed, have killed at least 16 people and injured more than 180. Approximately 42 million vehicles in the U.S. are affected.
- Steering: A steering defect can result in the movement of the steering wheel having no impact on the car’s direction, which can be extremely dangerous.
- Engine: While engines eventually deteriorate, if you are experiencing significant engine problems in the first year of your new car, you may have a defect.
- Shifting: Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died as a result of a defect with his shifting mechanism, which made him unaware what position the car was in. A recall of 1.1 million Jeep Grand Cherokees occurred just after his death.
If you have questions about defective vehicle cases, please contact our Los Angeles product liability attorneys at Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Call (866) 884-1717 or contact us online.