Charlotte, NC Auto Defects Attorneys
Help after accidents and injuries caused by defective car parts throughout North Carolina
When you or a loved one are involved in a car or truck accident, investigations typically focus on driver error – whether the other driver was impaired, distracted or failed to follow traffic signals. In some instances, however, your accident and injuries may not be another driver’s fault at all. Sometimes a vehicle crash happens because of defective or malfunctioning auto parts. These cases can be complex, which is why you need the services of an experienced attorney on your side.
Taking on big auto and truck manufacturers is an entirely different process than holding an individual driver responsible for your accident. Auto companies have armies of attorneys and insurance companies on their side – you need strong representation, too. The Charlotte auto defects lawyers at Price, Petho & Associates have the resources and knowledge you need to secure proper financial compensation for your injuries. Our product liability attorneys can help.
What would you like to know?
What is a motor vehicle defect?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a safety defect is “a problem that exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety, and may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture.”
Many of these defects are preventable and occur during design and manufacture when companies fail to implement proper safety measures.
What are some examples of common auto defects?
A vehicle safety defect can occur in just about any part of the vehicle, although the NHTSA points out that things like ordinary wear and tear, non-functioning air conditioners or radios, body rust, or cosmetic blemishes do not count as safety issues. Three of the top vehicle defects include seat belt failure, defective tires, and airbag failure.
Seat belt failure
Seat belts are designed to prevent drivers and passengers from sustaining serious and catastrophic injuries during an accident. Unfortunately, seat belts can sometimes fail to function properly due to various design and manufacturing flaws. When this occurs, people can end up being seriously injured or killed. There are many ways that design flaws or poor quality materials can cause seat belts to malfunction:
- Material tears or wears out prematurely. The materials used to construct seat belts must be strong enough to hold an occupant in place without tearing during an accident. When a seat belt rips or tears, it can cause the driver or passenger to strike against the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, or roof of the vehicle.
- Belt retractor fails.The retractor is the most important mechanical feature of the seat belt system because it locks the seat belt and occupant in place during a collision. Design flaws and cheap materials can cause the retractor to no longer lock in place, which can create enough slack in the belt during the accident to cause devastating injury.
- Flawed system design. Seat belts are part of a much larger safety system designed to prevent occupants from sustaining serious injuries during an accident. If any part of this design is flawed, the entire system can fail. For example, the anchor point of a seat belt influences the position of the occupant during a collision. When it comes to rollover accidents, an improperly anchored belt could cause permanent head or spinal cord injuries.
Common types of tire defects that can contribute to accidents and injuries include:
- Tire tread separation. The tread is the outermost part of a tire that makes contact with the road. Tread separation occurs when the tread pulls apart from the inner layers of the tire. When this happens, drivers can lose control of their vehicles, which might lead to a serious or catastrophic accident. This type of tire defect is common in semi-trucks and passenger vehicles and is also a leading reason for tire recalls.
- Tire blowout. Potholes, traveling at high speeds, and extreme temperature fluctuations can all contribute to tire blowouts. However, tire blowouts can also be caused by design flaws and manufacturing defects. A tire blowout happens fast, leaving minimal time for a driver to react to the situation.
- Inflation explosion. Tires can sometimes explode during the mounting and inflation process or while they are on the road. These explosions can be caused by flaws in a tire’s steel bead wire, or it can be an issue with the tire sidewall. Design errors in the rim on which a tire is mounted can also cause an explosion. When tires explode while they are being inflated, it can cause the person inflating the tire to suffer catastrophic injuries.
In some situations, it is easy to tell your airbag is defective, because it failed to deploy. Other times, however, defects can cause airbags to act in unexpected and dangerous ways. Examples of situations where an injury can be caused by a defective airbag include when it:
- Deploys with too much force
- Deploys too slowly
- Deploys in the wrong direction
- Unnecessarily deploys in a minor collision
- Doesn’t deploy when it is needed in a major collision
- Was produced with dangerous materials
What should I do if my vehicle is recalled?
The NHTSA is responsible for auto recalls if they determine a specific vehicle, model, or part has an unreasonable safety risk or danger to the public. If your car, SUV, or pickup truck is subject to a recall, the manufacturer is required to notify you and fix the problem at no cost. This typically involves repairing the vehicle or replacing the defective part. You’ll receive a notice from your vehicle manufacturer by mail within 60 days of the recall. Do not ignore this warning, as many safety defects could involve life-threatening injury. The manufacturer’s notice will provide instructions and next steps. You can also search for vehicle recalls with your VIN at the NHTSA website.
Who is liable for my Charlotte defective auto parts accident?
When car manufacturers cut corners on safety standards and put unsafe products and parts on the market, they should be held liable for any resulting accidents and injuries. Parties that may be held responsible include the:
- Auto manufacturer
- Parts manufacturer
- Car dealership
- Auto supply shop
- Auto shipper or distributor
- Car repair or inspection shop
Our experienced attorneys work to hold every liable party accountable for your injuries and losses, ensuring you recover the proper amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.
Is there an auto defects attorney near me?
Price, Petho & Associates is located at 1420 Elizabeth Ave in Charlotte. We also maintain offices in Rockingham and Rutherfordton for your convenience. If you are too injured to come to us, we make home and hospital visits as well.
Talk to our experienced Charlotte auto defects lawyers today
At Price, Petho & Associates, we know how difficult it can be to recover from your injury when you must deal with expensive medical bills and lost paychecks. When you choose our legal team to represent you, you won’t have to face these struggles alone. Our Charlotte vehicle defect lawyers have a proven track record of securing high-dollar settlements and verdicts for clients throughout the state. We can review your case and explain what legal options are available – let us put our skills and resources to work for you. To schedule a free consultation, call 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form today. Serving Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and South Carolina.