Despite government regulation of motor vehicle design and manufacturing, cars, trucks and automotive parts are frequently recalled because of defects, including defective design and manufacturing defects. Unfortunately, most recalls are initiated after many people have already died or been injured in accidents that are attributed to defective auto parts or designs. Some auto defects never result in recalls despite causing serious accidents.
Since the mid-1960s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled millions of motor vehicles and equipment because of safety-related auto defects or because they were not manufactured according to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Unfortunately, the system cannot remove every faulty motor vehicle or defective automotive part from the road before serious accidents occur. People who are injured because of auto defects in Texas, or the families of those who are killed in accidents caused by defects, have the right to seek compensation for their losses.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident caused by a defective vehicle or auto part, contact Houston personal injury attorney Kevin Krist today for a free consultation about your case. You can reach a Texas auto defect attorney at the Law Office of Kevin Krist by calling 713-284-1660, or use our firm’s online form. You’ll hear back from Mr. Krist within 24 hours.
If you hire Kevin Krist as your personal injury attorney, you can be assured that he will be the lead attorney on your case from start to finish. Kevin Krist provides personal representation to every injury client he represents. Mr. Krist is ready to put his skills and experience to work on your case today.
About Defective Cars, Trucks and Other Passenger Vehicles
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements for auto parts that most affect safe operation of the vehicle (for example, brakes, tires, lighting) or that protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury in the event of a crash (for example, air bags, safety belts, child restraints, energy-absorbing steering columns, motorcycle helmets).
When a motor vehicle or piece of auto equipment (including tires) does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, or when there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to require manufacturers to recall vehicles or vehicle parts.
Since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was enacted in 1966, NHTSA has ordered recalls of literally millions of motor vehicles and auto parts, including:
- 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles (RVs), motorcycles and mopeds
- 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment
- 46 million tires
- 42 million child safety seats.
Manufacturers can also initiate voluntary recalls for automobile equipment and vehicle defects.
NHTSA provides several examples of defects considered to be safety-related:
- Critical vehicle components that break or separate from the vehicle and cause potential loss of vehicle control or injury to people inside or outside the vehicle
- Steering components that break suddenly and cause partial or complete loss of vehicle control
- Fuel system component problems, particularly susceptible to damage in crashes that cause leakage and may lead to vehicle fires
- Accelerator controls that may break or stick
- Wheels that crack or break and cause loss of vehicle control
- Air bags that deploy under conditions for which they are not intended to deploy
- Child safety seats that contain defective safety belts, buckles or components that create an injury risk
- Wiring system problems that can cause fire or loss of lighting
- Windshield wiper assemblies that fail
- Seats and/or seat backs that fail unexpectedly
- Engine cooling fan blades that may break and injure someone working on a vehicle
- Car ramps or jacks that could collapse and cause injury to someone working on a vehicle.
Car tires are frequently recalled because of tread separations or tread distortions that can lead to a blowout and loss of control of a vehicle. As sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have become more popular, the propensity for these tall and top-heavy vehicles to roll over has created another safety concern. When some SUVs are in rollover accidents their roofs tend to collapse. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said that in 2010, 57 percent of SUV occupants who were killed in crashes were in vehicles that had rolled over.
Legal Options After an Auto Defect Accident
Motor vehicle product manufacturers and distributors have a legal obligation to ensure that the products they sell to the public are safe when used as intended. When they fail to meet this obligation, they may be legally liable for the harm that defective automotive products cause.
A manufacturer may be ordered to pay damages if a product it has brought to market causes unintended harm to the consumer who bought it or to others. In some cases, the defect may be the fault of some entity other than the manufacturer. Determining who is to blame can be a complex undertaking, but an experienced auto defect accident attorney will have the know-how and resources necessary to identify responsible parties.
In Texas, people injured by defective products may file lawsuit against the manufacturer and/or other responsible parties for negligence and strict liability. In most cases, the injured person must sue within two years after the person knew, or should have known, about the injury. Texas residents injured in car accidents caused by vehicle defects, and/or their families, may recover damages through a lawsuit that seeks restitution for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and/or reduced earning capacity
- Disfigurement or permanent impairment
- Pain and suffering, and mental anguish
- Exemplary damages (“punitive damages”).
After a fatal motor vehicle accident caused by an auto defect or defective automotive equipment, certain family members (for example, the surviving spouse, children or parents) may seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit for:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of the deceased family member’s earning capacity
- Loss of the deceased family member’s care, maintenance, support, counsel, advice and services
- Loss of society and companionship
- Mental anguish
- Exemplary damages.
Call Our Houston Auto Defects Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury or death in a car or truck accident related to a motor vehicle defect or faulty automotive part in southeast Texas, contact a Houston auto defect lawyer at the Law Office of Kevin Krist at 713-284-1660, or through the firm’s online form.
Let Kevin Krist explain how he can put his personal, proven experience to work for you, so you can get the compensation you deserve as a Texas auto defect accident victim. Kevin Krist represents accident victims on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees until he recovers compensation on your claim.