Who is Responsible for Accidents Due to Vehicle Defect?

If you are injured in an accident that was caused by a defective vehicle, it can be challenging to determine exactly who is responsible. In most cases, there are three parties who can be held liable for the accident: 1) the manufacturer of the defective part or parts; 2) the manufacturer of the vehicle; 3) the dealer who sold the vehicle.

Parts Manufacturers – There are usually quite a few vendors who supply parts and equipment used to manufacture vehicles. Any company that supplies a defective part that contributes to an accident may bear some of the liability. Common defective vehicle parts and systems that have been found to cause accidents include the steering system, accelerators that stick, leaky fuel systems, faulty wiring systems and defective air bags – just to name a few.

Auto Manufacturers – All auto manufacturers in the U.S. are required by law to produce vehicles that adhere to certain safety standards and to recall vehicles that are defective or do not meet those standards. Manufacturers that fail to recall defective vehicles, conceal the defects or fail to provide timely warnings to consumers could be held liable for accidents.

Car Dealers – Car and truck dealers can also be held liable in some cases if they sold a defective vehicle – especially if they concealed the defect and/or failed to warn the customer.