How small part defects can make vehicles unsafe to drive

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Personal Injury

Modern motor vehicles are incredibly complex machines. Mechanics need tools to access different vehicle components and an understanding of how to repair them, more today than ever before.

Modern vehicles are infinitely more complex than vintage models. They have computers and numerous, highly-technical components, like radar systems, that affect their performance on the road. When any of those components malfunction or fail, a motorist could be at significantly enhanced risk of a crash. The very systems intended to keep people safe can sometimes lead to them getting hurt.

More moving parts means more defect risks

Small mistakes in the manufacturing or design process could ultimately lead to a vehicle that is unsafe on the road. Even components that seem relatively minor could cause collisions. For example, Kia recently announced a recall of more than 83,000 Sorento SUVs because of an issue with the rearview camera. Water can leak into the cameras as installed, preventing the device from working.

The failure of a backup camera when someone is used to looking at their dashboard rather than over their shoulder when in reverse might mean that they don’t properly monitor their surroundings and cause a crash. Far less technical issues could also lead to preventable collisions. The hood latch on a vehicle failing, which has also been the source of recalls previously, might mean that someone traveling at incredibly high speeds suddenly loses visibility with no warning.

Those defects, whether the driver knows about them or not, will make them less safe on the road. Automotive manufacturers must therefore very carefully test their products and respond proactively when something fails or doesn’t work as intended. Recalls can help repair and replace damaged vehicle parts that could put people at risk. Unfortunately, recalls are often very slow efforts, in part because manufacturers need to communicate with buyers and arrange for them to bring the vehicles into dealerships to be repaired.

Vehicle owners affected by defective vehicle components may have grounds for a product defect lawsuit. They could take legal action against the manufacturer or possibly the company that supplied the defective components, depending on the circumstances. Understanding that a recent crash may have been caused (at least, in part) by a defective vehicle part is often the first step toward pursuing justice in this way.