A Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Talks about Types of Car Defects

April 2, 2015 by

With all the controversy and anger currently surrounding the defective GM ignition switches which reportedly caused the deaths of at least 13 people, you might be wondering which parts of your car you should watch out for and could potentially sue over if they caused you problems. The below list, while not meant to be exhaustive, should provide you with a good overview of different potential car defects that you might run across.

Ignition switches. Since this one is so prominent in the news right now, it seemed like a good place to start. Ignition switches turn cars on and off, but if your ignition switch is faulty--as they apparently are in countless GM vehicles--your automobile could actually lose power while you’re driving, leaving you helpless.

False park. Similar to the “slipping” problem of faulty ignition switches, when a car has this issue it may start rolling again after you put it in park and get out. In theory this is an issue that’s been resolved, but it’s also one that appeared in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, and then again in the ‘90s, so there’s every chance we may see it again.

Side impact design. Automobile bodies and frames should be built to a reasonable standard to protect you in the event of a crash. If your car crumples when the side is hit at a relatively low speed, you probably have a good case that the side impact design was not up to par.

Gas tanks. One of the most dangerous parts of any car is the gas tank, because if it becomes severely damaged in an impact, the car can actually explode. This is exactly what happened with Ford Pintos because there was a design flaw that left the gas tank unprotected.

Inadequate roof strength. Despite the fact that car manufacturers have known that the roofs on many of their vehicles weren’t strong enough to avoid being smashed in and crushing passengers in the event of a rollover as far back as the ‘60s, it took until 2012 for the NHTSA to finally demand stronger roofs across the board. This means that many people out there – especially those in trucks, vans, and SUVs – run the risk of having this problem.

Air bags. While by and large air bags have made cars safer since courts forced their mass inclusion in vehicles by way of continually ruling against manufacturers who neglected to use them, problems still exist. Sometimes air bags don’t deploy. Other times they deploy incorrectly or at inopportune times.

If you or someone you love has experienced any of these issues, your best shot at getting the compensation you deserve is to speak with a qualified Texas injury lawyer as soon as possible. We’ll have more car defects to watch out for in our next post, and you can learn more by downloading our free eBook.