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Vehicle Parts Commonly Referenced in Product Liability Cases

By Butler Prather LLP on April 15, 2024

The big automakers have a long history of placing vehicles on the market with defects that cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Unfortunately, manufacturers often put profits above safety by refusing to eliminate hazardous defects until they are forced to do it.

Atlanta auto product liability attorneys play a crucial role in safeguarding consumers’ rights when faced with automotive defects. Whether it’s faulty brakes, defective airbags, or engine malfunctions, these legal professionals assist clients in navigating complex legal processes and holding manufacturers accountable. By providing professional guidance and leveraging their knowledge of consumer protection laws, these lawyers aim to obtain compensation for damages and ensure accountability in the automotive industry.

Defective automobile systems and components that result in crashes, explosions, and other horrible consequences include airbags, brakes, and fuel systems. In fact, the defective gas tanks in several Chrysler Jeep models caused widespread heartache, death, and destruction until the manufacturer was forced to pay a major settlement to defendants who were represented by Butler Prather LLP.

Defective Airbags

Despite their role in safeguarding passengers, airbag systems are not without risks. When defects occur, they can pose serious hazards. One risk is the potential for an airbag to deploy when it’s not needed, which can cause accidents or injuries from the force of deployment. Conversely, a failure to deploy during a crash can lead to severe harm that the airbag should have mitigated.

Other risks include the deployment of airbags at inappropriate speeds or angles, which can be equally dangerous. Furthermore, the chemicals used to inflate airbags can create health risks if improperly handled or if the airbag ruptures.

It’s important for consumers to be aware of these risks so they are better equipped to handle any incidents and to understand their rights in the event of an airbag system failure.

Defective Brakes

Braking system failures can be attributed to various factors, often stemming from manufacturing or design flaws. Common causes include the use of substandard materials that cannot withstand the stress and heat generated by frequent braking. Over time, these materials may degrade faster than expected, leading to brake failure.

Another cause is the improper assembly of brake components, which can result in inadequate brake fluid pressure and reduced braking power. Design defects are also a significant contributor, where the overall brake system’s architecture is flawed, making it prone to failure. Brake failure may arise from inadequate testing procedures, where potential problems are overlooked or not addressed during the development phase.

The impact of braking system failure in an accident is often severe and can lead to devastating consequences. When a vehicle’s brakes fail, the driver may lose control, resulting in collisions at high speeds that can cause significant injuries or fatalities. These failures affect not only the occupants of the vehicle but also other road users who become unwilling participants in the accident.

Defective Fuel Systems

The fuel pump plays a critical role in your car’s operation by ensuring a consistent fuel flow from the tank to the engine. Located either inside or near the fuel tank, the pump pushes fuel through the lines and toward the engine under high pressure. In fuel injection systems, this pressure allows the fuel to be sprayed into the combustion chamber in a fine mist for efficient mixing with air.

The pump must provide fuel at the right pressure and volume for the engine to perform optimally across various conditions and loads. A failing fuel pump can lead to a drop in fuel pressure, which can cause engine sputtering, a loss of power, and vehicle failure.

The Jeep Cherokee Defective Gas Tank Fiasco

The Jeep gas tank issue is a prominent example of an auto defect with serious ramifications. The controversy involves older Jeep models where the gas tank was positioned in a way that could increase the risk of fire in the event of a rear-end collision. The problem was caused by a design flaw that made the gas tank more vulnerable to punctures and leaks during accidents, causing fiery explosions.

Despite mounting pressure from regulators, Chrysler refused to fix the defective Jeep gas tanks for over 20 years. The manufacturer’s inexcusable failure to act resulted in at least 487 fatalities. This defect led to several reported incidents, injuries, and fatalities, resulting in public outcry and legal action against the manufacturer.

The Jeep Cherokee faulty gas tank case highlights the importance of vehicle safety design and the potential for catastrophic outcomes when flaws are not appropriately addressed. For consumers, it became a stark reminder of the dangers that can lurk in seemingly reliable products and the necessity of holding manufacturers accountable for the safety, or lack of, regarding their vehicles.

Are You Suffering Catastrophic Injuries Caused by a Vehicle Accident?

The experienced litigators at Butler Prather LLP know how to take on the big insurance companies and win. If you were severely injured in an Atlanta accident, we’ll file a claim or lawsuit to help you get the resources you need to care for yourself and your family.

Butler Prather LLP has won landmark cases for clients in over 30 states. Our Georgia firm has won over a billion dollars in settlements and verdicts, including nine exceeding $100 million and over 60 verdicts and settlements surpassing $10 million.

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