Automotive product liability is often classified as product liability. Products sold into the marketplace must meet the typical expectations of consumers, according to product liability law. This means the product should function as a typical purchaser would expect.
When a product is deemed defective or dangerous to the ordinary customer, the incident may result in a product liability lawsuit. This is a defective car lawsuit in terms of a defective vehicle. General automotive product liability rules will be examined further below.
In general, a product liability claim involves a plaintiff initiating a lawsuit against a defendant to hold them accountable for delivering a faulty or harmful product. This product must have caused harm to the plaintiff when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings.
The defendant is usually one of the following parties who are in charge of delivering the product to customers:
It is crucial to note that in some circumstances, whether the vendor caused the problem is irrelevant. What counts is whether the store was a part of the supply chain that delivered the products to consumers. This is referred to as a strict product liability lawsuit. A plaintiff may also sue for carelessness or breach of express or implied promises.
Defects in Automotive Products
As previously stated, a defective automobile is a specific form of defective goods. Defective items are unreasonably unsafe when utilized for their intended purpose, with no adjustments or interference from the consumer. Defective products can cause harm to people in three ways:
- Design flaws
- Manufacturing flaws
- Marketing flaws
A motor vehicle defect may also refer to any defects that provide a safety risk or could result in the driver or passenger of the vehicle being injured.
Door Latches’ Essential Function
The idea behind car door latches is that they are designed to stay closed in foreseeable car crashes. Passengers are more likely to survive an accident if they stay in the car. Passengers may be flung from the vehicle if the door latches fail.
The Dangers of Being Involved in an Automobile Accident
Studies have shown that you are more likely to survive a crash if not flung from the vehicle. The impact on the road or other objects can cause significant injury if you are flung.
Furthermore, you run the chance of being hit by incoming traffic that doesn’t have time to swerve out of the way. Because of these substantial threats, door latches must stay securely fastened during a car crash.
Door Latch Failure Causes
Mechanical issues might cause door latches to fail. The collision was likely so severe that the door latches couldn’t stay closed no matter what the manufacturer did. However, door latches frequently fail due to poor design, manufacturing, or installation. If this is the case, you may have a case for vehicle product responsibility.
What if My Door Will Not Close?
Doors that will not close are one indicator of a defective door latch system—the latch and anchor interlock when the door is closed to seal it. If the latch mechanism inside the door breaks or has any problems, it may be unable to secure onto the anchor, resulting in a door that will not close. This is a problem since vehicles with open doors are dangerous to drive.
What if I Have to Slam the Door to Close it?
A door that takes a heavy slam to latch is another sign of a problem with the door latch mechanism. When shutting the doors, they should latch with a delicate to moderate force.
If you observe that the door only shuts when slammed, it could indicate that the latch mechanism is malfunctioning or that the latch has been misaligned with the anchor. Excessive slamming will eventually wear down the latch and necessitate its replacement.
What if My Door Won’t Open?
Another indicator of a potential problem with the door latch mechanism is a stuck door. If the door becomes stuck closed and will not open when the handles are pulled, the linkage or latching mechanism inside the door has failed.
A skilled mechanic will likely be required to disassemble the door from the car’s interior.
Door latches are essential components featured on almost all cars to secure the doors securely. While most door latches are designed to be robust, durable, and have a long service life, they might fail and cause problems with the door.
If you are experiencing door troubles or believe that your door latches are malfunctioning, get the car inspected by a competent technician to determine whether a door latch replacement or another repair is required.
What Do I Need to Prove a Car Defect?
To obtain damages for an injury sustained as a result of a car defect, you must demonstrate the following:
- The vehicle or one of its components contained an “unreasonably risky” flaw that caused you harm. The flaw could have occurred during the design of the vehicle, during manufacture, during handling or transport, or as a result of a failure to alert consumers of a potentially harmful component of the vehicle.
- The flaw resulted in an injury when the vehicle was being utilized as intended.
- The vehicle had not been significantly altered from the condition in which it was sold. “Substantially” implies a way that has an impact on how the vehicle operates.
When Is the Manufacturer Liable for a Failed Door Latch?
Manufacturers are accountable when a fault or negligence in the door latch’s design, production, or installation causes failure.
For example, if a door latch fails due to bad design, the maker will likely be liable. If, on the other hand, the door latch fails due to unreasonable pressures being applied, it is unlikely that the product is defective.
Do Car Defect Claims Have Any Defenses?
Suppose it can be demonstrated that you were aware of the fault but continued to use the vehicle despite knowing about it. In that case, the car manufacturer or seller may have a defense against your strict liability claims.
This is frequently demonstrated by the vehicle’s condition or your own account of how you used the vehicle. In some areas, a manufacturer or seller may be able to defend against a motor vehicle defect claim by claiming that your contributory or comparative negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.
Can a Manufacturer Be Held Liable for Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages, which are awards over and beyond regular damages, are sometimes awarded in successful claims against manufacturers. Punitive damages are designed to punish car manufacturers and motivate them to correct inherent deficiencies in vehicle designs that have resulted in injury. Contact a lawyer if you have any questions regarding which persons or parties can be held liable for any types of door latch failures and resulting injuries.
Do I Need a Lawyer Because My Door Latch Failed?
If you have been in a car accident, you should contact an auto lawyer in your area as quickly as possible. If you were hurt because your door latch failed, you might be able to file an automotive products liability claim. An experienced liability lawyer can advise you on your rights and potential remedies.