Once in a while, car owners may hear a news report, or receive notices in the mail, about a parts defect that affects their cars. Car owners are supposed to have those defective parts repaired in order to avoid having an accident that is caused by the defective part. When car owners are not fortunate enough to have the defective part repaired before a car accident occurs, the manufacturer may be held liable for the accident.
Auto manufacturers can be liable for the defective parts of the vehicles they make. This kind of claim is usually filed as a product liability lawsuit. In a product liability lawsuit, a person who is injured by a defective car part has to show that the part was either negligently manufactured or designed. In order to be able to receive compensation, the injured person also has to show that the accident that caused his injuries was attributable to the defective part.
Manufacturers may recall defective auto parts voluntarily, or they may recall defective products when required to do so by a government agency. Under both circumstances, the manufacturer is required to include specific information in the recall notice so as to reach as many consumers as possible and alert them to the danger of the defect. Car manufacturers often offer to pay for the repair of any defective parts that are subject to a recall.
It may be possible for an injured driver to use a recall as evidence that the manufacturer knew that a product was defective, or that the particular defect announced in the recall caused the injuries sustained. However, the fact that a defective auto part was part of a recall does not make the manufacturer automatically liable for a plaintiff’s injuries. The recall is simply one possible piece of evidence to show a part was defective.
If a manufacturer is aware of a defect in a car part and refuses to recall the parts for repair, the manufacturer may be required to pay more for the willful failure to recall a part it knew was a threat.
If there has been a product recall, the manufacturer may argue that because of the recall, a driver who failed to repair his car took on the risk of the injury that occurred. In making this argument, the manufacturer necessarily has to prove that the driver was aware of the recall. If the recall notice was sent to the driver’s house, it is more likely for the manufacturer to prove this than if the notice was only made through the media.
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Car accidents, whether caused by a negligent driver or a defective car part, can affect a person’s life in many different ways. If a person suffers serious injuries, it can take years to recover and be very expensive. If you sustained serious injuries in a Florida car accident, you may be able to seek compensation from a car manufacturer if the accident was caused by a defective auto part. For a free consultation to learn more about how you can seek compensation, contact an experienced car accident injury lawyer at Vocelle & Berg, LLP, in Vero Beach, Florida.