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Beware of Auto Defects

When purchasing a car, rarely do the buyers remain concerned about the possibility of a defective auto part in their new vehicle. Sadly, however, faulty car parts not only exist, but are rather common and can lead to serious problems. In recent years, we have heard more and more about recalls and defects in different automobiles and the injuries and accident that some may cause. These defective parts may lead to minor injuries, or could potentially result in fatalities, depending on the circumstances.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

In 1996, The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act granted the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to set a standard of national regulations that must be followed by automobile manufacturers, as well as a requirement that manufacturers must issue a recall in the event that automobiles and their parts do not reach these standards. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements that are applicable to not only vehicles, but vehicle-related equipment that is manufactured or that is imported for sale in the United States and that is certified to be used on public roads and highways. Safety standards are set for many different parts of the car or different aspects of driving, including:

– Brakes;
– Tires;
– Lighting;
– Air bags;
– Safety belts;
– Child restraints;
– Energy absorbing steering columns; and
– Motorcycle helmets.

In some cases, a defective part may only exist in a single car. If the defect is a widespread problem, however, then the auto company will be forced to issue a recall in order to warn others about the defect and protect them from the possibility of being injured. Generally, a recall is necessary under two situations:

1. When a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment does not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; or
2. When there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.

What Does and Does Not Qualify as a Safety Defect?

The major issue with recalls and automobile defects occurs when the defects put individuals’ safety at risk. It may be hard to determine what is and is not considered a safety defect. The following are a few examples of each.

Examples of safety-related defects may include:

– Accelerator controls that may break or stick;
– Wiring system problems that result in a fire or loss of lighting;
– Air bags that deploy under conditions they are not suppose to deploy under;
– Wheels that crack or break and result in loss of control of the vehicle; and
– Steering components that break and cause loss of control of the vehicle.

Examples of non-safety-related defects may include:

– Air conditioners and radios that do not work properly;
– Nonstructural or body panel rust;
– Cosmetic blemishes; and
– Excessive oil consumption.

Have You Been Injured?

If you or someone you know was injured due to a defect in a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Contact the Fort Lauderdale attorneys at Boone & Davis today and let us evaluate your case. Our legal professionals have years of experience dealing with automobile defects and automobile accidents, and will work aggressively on your behalf to help you recover compensation.

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