The Different Parties You Can Sue For a Car Accident Caused By a Defective Part

Car accidents caused by defective parts in the USA are a serious issue that can result in devastating consequences for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Defective parts can range from faulty airbags to defective brakes, tires, and steering systems, among others. When these parts fail to perform as intended, they can cause accidents that result in serious injuries, property damage, and even fatalities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for overseeing vehicle safety in the United States. They have the authority to issue recalls for vehicles that have defective parts and can order manufacturers to take corrective action to address safety concerns. However, despite these efforts, defective parts continue to be a leading cause of car accidents in the country.

There can be more than one party to sue when serious injuries caused by a car accident due to defective parts occur. If you were involved in such an accident, then you can sue;

The Manufacturer

If a manufacturer uses a defective part in a car that causes an accident, the injured party has the legal right to sue the manufacturer for damages. To successfully sue a car manufacturer for using a defective part, the injured party must prove the defect existed before the car was sold and that it was the cause of the accident.

One of the most high-profile examples of car accidents caused by defective parts in the USA involved faulty airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation. These airbags had the potential to explode with too much force, sending metal shrapnel flying into the vehicle’s cabin. The defect was linked to several deaths and injuries and resulted in one of the largest auto recalls in history, affecting millions of vehicles.

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The Distributor

If you have been in a car accident caused by a defective part, you can sue the distributor for damages. The distributor may be held liable if they knew about the defect before it caused the accident or if they sold a product they knew or should have known would be dangerous. To file a claim, you must be able to prove that the distributor was negligent in selling the part.

One example is the case of Ford Motor Co. vs. Ammerman, which was heard by the Texas Supreme Court in 1997.

In this case, a family was driving their Ford Bronco II when a tire suddenly blew out, causing the vehicle to roll over and resulting in the death of one of the passengers. The family sued Ford, as well as the distributor of the tire, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

The court found that Goodyear was responsible for the accident because it had sold a defective tire to Ford, which was then installed on the Bronco II.

The Dealer

If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by a defective part in your car, you may be able to take legal action against the dealer who sold or installed the part. To do so, you must prove that the part was defective and that it caused the accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to sue the dealer for breach of contract, negligence, or a product liability claim.

One such case is the General Motors ignition switch scandal, which involved faulty ignition switches that caused the engine to shut off while the car was in motion, disabling the airbags and other safety systems.

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This defect was linked to at least 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries, and General Motors was forced to recall millions of vehicles and pay billions of dollars in fines and settlements. In addition, several dealerships that sold or installed defective parts were also held liable for their role in the scandal.

Above all, these parties can be sued if a car accident occurs due to faulty parts. But this can only be identified by an experienced attorney who has special resources to determine the fault and establish liability.


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