Every year, hundreds of vehicles and products related to transportation get recalled for safety reasons. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019 alone, there were 966 recalls of vehicles, car parts, child safety seats and tires. If an investigation finds that a recalled car or truck component caused your accident or contributed to the severity of your injuries, you may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the part manufacturer in Texas.
What Is an Automotive Recall?
A recall means that a significant safety problem has been discovered and that the manufacturer of the item – or a federal agency such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission – has issued a statement warning consumers against purchasing or using the product. If a design, manufacturing or marketing defect in an automotive component is discovered, a recall will be issued to help protect consumers from the defective item. You can keep up with the latest car and truck recalls using the NHTSA’s database.
A recall will generally be published online for public safety purposes. It will also be sent directly to any known purchaser of the product or vehicle. The recall will describe the nature of the defect and give the manufacturing company’s remedy. This is typically a resolution such as free part replacement, a refund for the purchase or a free repair. The recall will also warn users to immediately discontinue the use of the faulty or defective component, in most cases.
Auto part recalls often involve critical vehicle components, such as the tires, brakes or steering system. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of serious car accidents connected to defective auto parts. Recalls are almost always initiated after the company receives complaints about the safety of its products from consumers. This means that consumers often have to be involved in accidents – and potentially seriously injured – before the company recognizes, discovers or announces a part defect.
Who Is Responsible for Accidents Caused By Recalled Vehicle Parts?
If a victim gets injured in a car or truck accident caused by a recalled part, that individual may have grounds to file an injury claim against multiple parties. First, the victim may be able to file a claim against the driver or party that caused the crash. If someone ran a red light and crashed into you, for example, but a faulty airbag greatly contributed to your injuries, you may be able to hold the driver who violated a traffic law at least partially responsible.
The second party that may be responsible for the accident is the manufacturer or distributor of the recalled vehicle part. If the recalled car or truck part was the main cause of the accident, the manufacturing company may be primarily responsible for your losses, including medical bills and property repairs. You could recover financial compensation through a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car part.
The rule of strict product liability does not require evidence that the manufacturing company was negligent and that this caused the accident. Instead, it is only necessary to prove that the part contained a defect and that it caused the accident. If you knew about the recall but ignored the manufacturer’s recommendation to stop driving the car, however, the company could use this as a defense against a product liability claim. It is your responsibility to stop using a recalled vehicle once you are notified of the issue.
Contact an Auto Defect Lawyer
Car and truck component recalls are relatively common. If a defective vehicle part caused or contributed to your recent vehicle collision in San Antonio, Texas, contact an attorney for a free case evaluation. An attorney can explain your legal rights and help you go up against a manufacturing company, an automaker, another driver or a third party in pursuit of fair financial compensation. Call The Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo today at (210) 429-8051 for more information.