A safe vehicle design should ensure that little damage to or intrusion into the passenger compartment of the vehicle in the event of an auto accident. Unfortunately, sometimes auto manufacturers’ attempts at cutting costs lead to unsafe design that contain structural defects

What Happens When There Is a Structural Defect?

If you car has a structural defect and you are involved in an accident, the likelihood of injury or death increases dramatically. This is because structural defects allow for a car to collapse in ways it normally wouldn’t. For example, the frame of the car can be bent in ways that it should not which makes it more likely someone will be hurt.

Another example is when a passenger of a vehicle is unbelted because the seatbelt opened during the vehicle collision leaving the passenger unbelted during the collision.

What Are Some Examples of Structural Defects?

There are many types of things that could be considered structural defects. Some examples include the following: 

  • Use of a lower grade of steel when making the car which can bend or break when involved in an auto accident.
  • Use of a structural adhesive (an industrial type of glue), as opposed to welding parts together, which allows for parts to come apart. 
  • Poor constructed safety cages
  • Poor door latches and door locks
  • Poor weak structures
  • Weak Door frame construction
  • Seatbelt defects

Why Do Structural Defects Occur?

Structural defects often occur due to negligence. That is, someone is mistaken in what is required to ensure a safe passenger compartment in a vehicle. Other times, structural defects are the result of automotive companies trying to cut costs. Auto companies are under pressure to meet fuel efficiency requirements and the easiest way to do this is to make the car lighter. This can be done by using lighter steel.  Instead of using lighter steel that is also stronger, auto manufacturers tend to use lighter steel that is cheaper and not as strong. Using structural adhesive is also cheaper than welding. 

When manufacturers use cheaper and lighter structures to build a vehicle in order to meet fuel efficiency regulations, it results in creating safety risks.

If My Car Has a Structural Defect, Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you’ve been in an auto accident and you believe you injuries were the result of a structural defect in your car, contact a lawyer as soon as you can. An experienced products and services lawyer can advise you on your rights and remedies.