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Vehicles are complex machines that many of us rely on for transportation and convenience. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs, the vehicle is sometimes to blame for the resulting injuries. When a vehicle malfunctions, everyone on the road is in danger. Even a minor vehicle defect can have life-altering consequences and cause devastating damage to individuals and families.

The manufacturer of a defective vehicle may be liable for injuries related to the defect. This liability could be limited to the car manufacturer or the manufacturer of a specific part of the vehicle.

In some cases, the seller of the vehicle could be held accountable for not revealing a known defect before selling the vehicle. An attorney, specifically a defective car lawyer can help you determine who is liable following your accident, and fight to obtain damages on your behalf.

8 Common Car Defects That Manufacturers May Be Liable For

1. Airbags:

When an airbag deploys during a collision, it can offer valuable protection to our bodies. Unfortunately, defective airbags can result in brain damage, burns, or lacerations across the face and torso. The airbag manufacturer may be liable when their product fails to properly function.

2. Seat belt defects:

Seat belts are designed to keep us in place during an accident, but when the seat belt is too loose, tight, or poorly constructed, it could fail. Manufacturers who sell defective seat belts may be held accountable for seat belts that fail to keep someone in place during an accident.

3. Structural defects:

Automobiles might come with slight defects that make us less safe, and that are not apparent to the eye. A structural defect is a broad term that covers a number of potential issues and can include, for example, a weak roof, poorly constructed frame, door locks that fail, or a seatback that fails to properly protect a user in a rear-end accident.

4. Design defects:

Issues with the design of the vehicle or a specific part of the vehicle can cause devastating injuries. Whether the problem is the tires, seatbacks, brakes, or fuel tank, crashes and explosions become more likely when the vehicle design is defective.

5. Rollover cases:

It is possible that a vehicle may fail to protect its occupants when it rolls over or flips. Talking to an attorney is the first step toward compensation after a rollover.

6. Child safety seats:

Keeping your child or children safe is the number one goal of many parents. When a child safety seat, meant to keep a child safe, does not do so, an investigation is warranted to determine if a manufacturer may be at fault.

7. Defects of tires and rims:

The wheels of a vehicle are among its most important features. When a tire unexpectedly blows out, a serious collision can occur.

8. Computer system failures:

The computer systems in motor vehicles control a variety of important components, by collecting information with a network of sensors, then analyzing it with a computer. These computers can then determine what actions will make the basic operation of the vehicle the most efficient or safest. Unfortunately, the following issues can arise if a car computer fails: engine problems, transmission errors, anti-lock brake issues, loss of electronic assistance systems, and loss of driver assistance systems.

In addition to these problems, software errors may cause the vehicle to operate in an entirely unintended and unsafe manner, which could lead to a potential accident.

Accidents involving automobile defects are extremely complicated and often involve in-depth investigations into design and manufacturing processes, which our attorneys and their team know how to effectively conduct. The team of experienced defective car attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier can help you navigate an automobile defect claim.

Attorney Timothy S. Trecek

Milwaukee, West Bend

In 2020, as lead trial counsel, Tim Trecek obtained a $38.1 million verdict against Hyundai Motor Company, for a defectively designed seat back and head restraint system in his client’s 2013 Hyundai Elantra (see news story). The verdict is the largest single-plaintiff compensatory award in Wisconsin history. The verdict included $7.77 million for the plaintiff’s spouse, another record for Wisconsin verdicts. Based on the significance of his 2020 verdict, Tim was honored to receive the Robert L. Habush, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, the second time being recognized with said award. He was also awarded The Litigation Counsel of America’s Tommy Malone Outstanding Verdict Award, an honor bestowed upon one attorney in the US whose verdict is extraordinary in amount or significance.

Although he was born, raised, and works in southeastern Wisconsin, Tim has earned a national reputation as a successful plaintiff’s trial lawyer. Tim’s successes have been so noteworthy that they have been chronicled in papers such as the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and dozens of other publications.

View Timothy’s Full Bio