Whether your vehicle is brand new or second hand, you should never be in a situation where you are on the road in a defective vehicle.
Defective vehicles are dangerous and can result in catastrophic, life-threatening accidents. Unfortunately, you will likely not be aware that your vehicle has a fault until it is too late.
Product liability laws that apply to other products like homeware, technology, or faulty fitness equipment also apply to all vehicles whether they are cars, trucks, or motorbikes. They are there to protect you and others from preventable damages.
In the event that you are involved in an accident that was caused or made worse by an unknown fault with a vehicle then you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Contact Brown Turner Ross for expert, no-nonsense advice regarding product liability claims and guidance on the best way for you to move forward after experiencing an injury relating to a defective vehicle.
Examples of Defective Vehicle Compensation Cases
There are many examples in the past of vehicles with a serious fault, unknown to the owner of the vehicle, leading to an accident that injures either the driver, passenger, or pedestrians nearby.
High-profile examples of vehicle faults leading to recalls include:
- Over three million cars manufactured from 2000-2015 were fitted with defective Takata airbags. This affected almost all popular car manufacturers including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, and more
- Toyota continuing to manufacture their vehicles while knowing that the combination of accelerator pedal and floor mat in a certain vehicle could lead to the accelerator getting stuck and creating an accident
- A design fault with the vacuum pump relay box causing fires in a specific model of Vauxhall Zafira manufactured between 2006 – 2014
According to the Government website, for a vehicle to have a serious safety defect, there is a criterion that needs to be met.
“A serious safety defect is something:
- About the way the vehicle is designed or made that’s likely to cause injury or death
- That happens suddenly and without warning”
If the vehicle’s defect is caused by your own misuse, or you either perceived the fault through a change in your enjoyment of the vehicle or were warned about the fault during a routine service or through an in-car warning light, then the defect will likely not count as a serious safety defect.
Defective car parts worsening injury
The vehicle’s defect does not have to be the cause of the accident for you to make a successful claim.
If you are injured in a vehicle accident and your injury is exacerbated by a faulty part then you can still claim against the defective vehicle. The most common examples of this are airbags and seatbelts.
Airbags that explode upon impact can cause severe injuries, and are not something that you would normally be aware of unless you are involved in an accident and then rely on them to protect you.
Seatbelts, too, are another common cause of injury to driver or passenger following a road traffic accident. The circumstances where it becomes apparent that there is a fault to a car part like seatbelts may only be through a serious accident rather than during maintenance or a routine service.
With more and more vehicles coming fitted with driver assistance technology, sudden electrical or software faults that lead to the disfunction of cruise control, self-driving, or parking assist are becoming a genuine concern.
Making Car defect injury claims
The standard length of time you have to make a claim for the majority of claims in England, including product liability claims, is three years from the date of injury.
While this may be adhered to more strictly with other types of injury claim, say for example you suffer an allergic reaction and are immediately aware of the cause, some types of product liability defect may go unnoticed for a while after the time of incident.
You may be involved in a road traffic accident and then after two years you are made aware that it was a fault with your vehicle that caused the accident. In this case, your three-year limit would start from the date you were made aware.
The compensation that you could claim will account for the severity of any damages, as well as to compensate you for any medical or care bills that you will have incurred, and any current or potential income that you have lost.
Our Product Liability lawyers
If your vehicle experiences any sort of sudden, unexpected fault that either leads to or compounds an injury then you may be entitled to claim compensation.
We advise that you contact our faulty products claims lawyers as soon as you become aware that it was a vehicle defect that affected your injury to give you the best chance of success.