Defective Automotive Products That Affect Crashworthiness

A vehicle’s crashworthiness is put to the test whenever it is involved in an accident. Crashworthiness is the term applied to a vehicle’s ability to protect its occupants in an accident. In the Orlando Florida area an SUV rollover and defective product lawyer at the firm of David & Philpot, PL can help you if you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident that may have been less severe were it not for the defective automotive products that diminished the vehicle’s crashworthiness.

Examples of Defective Automotive Products

Standard safety features on vehicles can sometimes be vulnerable to defect. A defect on a part or feature may be an isolated incident, or it may affect a whole fleet of vehicles, depending on where the flaw originated. Some examples of defective parts on motor vehicles include:

  • Roofs that are not sufficiently supported
  • Rips in the seatbelt
  • Malfunctioning seatbelt latches
  • Malfunctioning seatbelt retractors
  • Improperly placed fuel tank
  • Poor fuel tank welds
  • Seatbacks crumpling on impact
  • Doors opening on impact
  • Malfunctioning airbags

A vehicle’s crashworthiness test takes a number of features into account, including the minimization of passenger contact with the interior of the vehicle, passenger ejection prevention, and maintaining a low risk of fire. Crashworthiness does not involve investigating the cause of the accident, only the severity of the impact and the reaction of the vehicle and its parts. Features such as anti-lock braking systems are not taken into account. At our central Florida firm located near Orlando, a defective product lawyer can review your case to determine whether poor crashworthiness may have been a factor in your accident.

SUV and Other Vehicle Rollovers

SUVs (sport utility vehicles), vans, and other larger vehicles are particularly susceptible to rollover accidents because they have a significantly higher center of gravity than smaller vehicles. As more and more people are driving SUVs, the number of rollover accidents continues to grow. Rollover accidents frequently occur when the driver loses control of the vehicle and hits an obstacle, or takes a turn too sharply, causing the vehicle to tip and roll. Vehicle rollovers often result in serious injuries and even death. Many SUVs have been found to have inadequate roof support, making them susceptible to roof cave-in; this can increase the likelihood of passengers incurring head and neck injuries. An SUV rollover lawyer may be able to help you obtain compensation if you or someone you know has been involved in a rollover accident.
An SUV rollover lawyer at the firm of David & Philpot, PL can look into the crashworthiness of your vehicle if you have been involved in a rollover accident. Our personal injury attorneys in central Florida are knowledgeable in many areas of the law concerning crashworthiness and vehicle rollover accidents.

Defective Tires

Both drivers and passengers are susceptible to serious, and even fatal, injuries if there are defects in a vehicle’s tires. Tread separation and blowouts have lead to fatal accidents, especially among SUV and truck drivers which can easily rollover in these situations. Tire manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products and may be held liable if the tire is found to be defective. For example, product liability claims were brought against Firestone for flaws in tires that caused hundreds of accidents and injuries. The Firestone tire recall in August 2000 was a landmark event, bringing forth the issue of defective tires and placing the safety of tires under close scrutiny.
Currently, the most common cause of tire defects is tread separation, which can occur because of overall design problems or poor adhesion between the rubber and the steel belts of the tire. Tread separation can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, and increase the chances of collision or rollover, which can cause serious injuries especially if aspects of the vehicle’s crashworthiness fail during the accident.
At our firm in the Orlando area, a defective product lawyer can review the facts of your case to determine if tire defects may have contributed to the accident.

Who is responsible for Defective Automotive Products and Vehicles?

Like most product liability cases, when a vehicle’s crashworthiness or an automotive product is found to be defective, the responsibility for the defect usually lies in one of three areas:
Design – Design defects typically occur when the designer creates the product without the proper consumer safety conditions.
Manufacturing – Manufacturing error generally occurs in cases where a vehicle is designed with the correct specifications, but built incorrectly.
Marketing – If a manufacturer fails to warn consumers about fundamental product design features that may be hazardous if improperly used, the manufacturer may be liable. Requirements are in place for manufacturers to attach clear and conspicuous warnings on these types of design features. Also, the seller of the product is responsible for making sure the customer is properly warned of any potential risks, and that the product is used the way it was designed to be used.

When To Contact A Defective Automotive Products Attorney

If you live in Florida and have been involved in an SUV rollover or a car accident caused by defective automotive products, a lawyer at David & Philpot, PL can help. An attorney from our firm will determine if a flaw in design, manufacturing, or marketing may have caused the accident or contributed to the severity of the accident, and help you pursue compensation from the responsible party.

A vehicle’s crashworthiness test is vitally important to ensuring the safety of its passengers. Contact a Florida SUV and vehicle rollover lawyer at our practice if you feel a defect in your vehicle’s safety features played a part in the damage caused by an accident. Fill out our free case evaluation form and a lawyer at David & Philpot, PL can help you with these often complex cases.