In the United States, there are nearly six million car accidents every year, resulting in almost three million injuries and 40,000 deaths. Driving is dangerous, which is why we never expect our vehicle to be the cause of the accident. However, there are many cases where the accident is the fault of the car. A quick look at the staggering number of auto recalls issued each year is startling.
In 2015 alone – the last year for which there is recorded data – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded more than 700 recalls. These recalls affected over 20 million vehicles, children's car seats, and other vehicle equipment. Each recall represents one more potentially dangerous threat to motorists all over the nation.
While recalls aren't necessarily a bad thing – they do address many issues before they have the opportunity to hurt consumers – design flaws that go unnoticed can cause major trouble. When companies are negligent in reporting safety issues, there is often a good case for injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Some of the more commonly reported car problems include built-in safety features, such as faulty airbags, weak roofing structures and poor seatbelts that unlatch, tear or unwind during collisions. In other instances, the problems have been even more dangerous. Some of the recalls have been for faulty door latches that allow doors to fly open during collisions. Other recalls were for weak windshield glass with poor glazing. Both of these issues could have resulted in driver and passenger ejection during a collision, which is one of the most deadly things that can happen in a car accident. The NHTSA lists many other things that can be considered vehicle safety hazards:
- Defective steering column parts that can cause a loss of control when they fail.
- Fuel system issues that cause a fire in the event of a collision.
- Broken or stuck gas pedals.
- Weak wheel rims that crack or break while driving.
- Poorly functioning windshield wipers.
- Bad wiring that could potentially start a car fire or sudden loss of headlights.
There are even some reported safety hazards that present a danger to mechanics and others in the auto service industry. One example is faulty fan blades in the coolant system that can break, injuring the person repairing the vehicle. Other times, repair equipment can fail, such as ramps or car jacks that give way, causing the car to fall and hurt someone near to the vehicle.
A large portion of these safety defects are not reported by the auto manufacturer, but by consumers, after the failure points become apparent. During 2015, consumers called the NHTSA with 51,000 complaints. That may sound like a lot, but those numbers are low when compared to 49,500 complaints in 2014 and 65,600 complaints in 2013. In fact, the NHTSA relies largely on consumers to pinpoint common problems so that they can open a government investigation.
If you have suffered an injury you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia to see what rights you may have. You shouldn't have to suffer the medical expenses, lost work time or any other physical, mental or financial costs that can be caused by known manufacturing defects.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102