legal blog

Auto Defects

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Product Liability


It seems that we’re often reading or hearing in the news about cars or SUVs being recalled because of some defective part. Defective auto parts can be the cause of crashes that result in serious injuries to the people involved, making automotive defects hazardous for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the United States experienced the highest number of vehicle recalls in 2014 than the agency had seen since the 1980s. Recent recalls include Takata air bags used in more than 23 million vehicles, and Fiat Chrysler tires, power brake assists, and fuel heaters affecting millions of vehicles across the United States.

Auto Defects In the News

One major auto recall in the past decade is from Ford-Firestone. In 2000, numerous Firestone tire treads separated on the Explorer SUVs, causing the tires to openly malfunction. There were at least 119 deaths attributed to the Ford-Firestone defects. Consequently, hundreds of product liability and personal injury suits have been filed that cost Ford millions in settlements.

Other big automakers such as GM and Toyota have also failed to satisfy industry standards by distributing cars with unstable acceleration rates, faulty ignition switches, and defective brakes. The Chicago Tribune reported on this very issue in 2014.

Most recently, on July 26, 2015, the Department of Transportation announced $105 million in civil penalties against Chrysler automobiles as a result of the manufacturer’s violation of safety regulations. In total, Chrysler compelled 23 different vehicle safety related recalls, involving more than 11 million automobiles with substandard parts.

Auto Defects and Liability

In Illinois, there are product liability laws in place to protect consumers like you from auto defects that can cause serious or fatal injuries. Automotive defects can result in any of the following types of problems that in turn may result in car crashes or other types of accidents or injuries:

  • Tire blowouts
  • Ineffective brakes
  • Car rollovers
  • Unintentional acceleration
  • Airbag failure
  • Door latch or safety lock failure
  • Ignition switch failure
  • Engine fire
  • Seatbelt malfunction
  • Window breakage
  • Seatback collapse
  • Overall motor instability

Typically, auto defects fall under at least one of three categories: design, manufacturing, or marketing defects. During the initial design stage, the automotive engineers might overlook certain safety precautions or create design elements with unforeseen hazards. Manufacturers can also take missteps during parts production, leading to dangerous outcomes. Finally, marketing companies may fail to label the product with appropriate warnings to ensure safe usage of the vehicle.

How an Effective Product Liability Lawyer Can Help

If you or a family member experienced an accident due to a car defect, you will need an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney to provide legal assistance. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our lawyers can discuss your potential claim and help you pursue the compensation that you deserve. Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, or loss of normal life.

We can help file a product liability claim against the automobile manufacturer, designer, and/or dealership responsible for the vehicle defects that directly resulted in or contributed to your injuries. We will assemble documentation of proof that demonstrates negligence and liability. Moreover, your claim can potentially be added to a class-action suit, in which multiple parties have suffered from similar defects produced by the same vehicle supply chain.

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is 100 percent committed to pursuing justice on behalf of our clients. We recommend that you read testimonials and reviews that attest to our history of success. If you believe you were injured because of an automotive defect, please contact our office today at (312) 236-2900 for a free, no-obligations consultation. We will be happy to discuss all available legal options with you.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900