A car is a surprisingly complex machine. The engine alone has dozens of parts to it, each of which can go drastically wrong. Even though the engine is likely the most important part of a car, everything from the airbags to the steering column to the seat belts can be defectively made. If anything malfunctions in a vehicle, it can lead to a crash that often results in serious injuries.
This is why the personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law offices of Gilman & Bedigian represent clients who have been hurt in car accidents caused by an auto defect. If a defective part in someone's car causes an accident, then it was not your fault that you got hurt, and you should be compensated for the pain and suffering that you have gone through.
Common Auto Defects
Every car is made up of hundreds of parts, each of which has its own role to play in your safety. Unfortunately, this means that any defect in how any of those parts are put together can have a huge impact on whether your car can protect you or not. If history is any indication, though, some parts have proven to be defective more often than others, warranting your increased attention.
One of the most infamous and costly auto defects in recent memory was Toyota's unintended acceleration problem, which killed numerous people and also caused even more car accidents.
The defect had to do with the accelerator pedal in a handful of Toyota vehicles, including the popular Camry and Corolla models. The pedal mechanism was defectively made, causing the gas pedal to stick in an acceleration position, making the car speed up without the driver wanting it to. Needless to say, this resulted in drivers losing control of their cars at high speed, causing serious accidents.
Seat Belt Defects
Another common auto defect has to do with the seat belts in a car. Because seat belts play such an important role in the safety of the car's driver and passengers, any defect in them can lead to injuries that are significantly more serious than they would have been, if they had worked.
Another common auto defect has to do with airbags. In fact, a recent airbag recall involving airbags made by Takata proved to be “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
One of the biggest issues with airbag defects is that car manufacturers themselves rarely make their own airbags – they buy airbags from other sources, like Takata. As a result, a defectively made airbag model can appear in cars of all sorts, from different models to different brands. For example, the Takata recall impacted an estimated 42 million cars from 19 different auto makers. This made it difficult for people to know, for sure, whether their car could have a defective airbag in it until too late.
Defective Seat Recliners
An often-overlooked aspect of your car that can malfunction is your seat recliner. While this might not seem like a serious problem, imagine driving on the highway and your seat suddenly falling backwards. Without any warning whatsoever, you could be looking at the ceiling of your car, struggling to hang onto the steering wheel and hurtling blindly down the road at high speeds.
If the reclining mechanism in the driver's seat of your car was defectively made, this could become a reality. These defects have been linked to some serious car accidents, made worse by the fact that, without the seat in an upright position, seatbelts do very little to keep the driver from being injured in the crash.
Finally, some defective car parts can create or worsen rollover accidents. Defective tires or steering columns can cause a car to jolt to the side. This can lead to a rollover accident, especially if your car is a tall one, like an SUV. These rollover accidents can be even worse if there is a defectively designed or produced roll cage or roof pillar that fails to keep the roof of your car from crushing in from the weight of the vehicle above it.
Auto Defect Attorneys in Philadelphia
These are just some of the most common auto defects that can make a car accident more likely or more serious. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in or near Philadelphia and suspect that an auto defect was the cause of the crash, contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162.