Car maintenance can be expensive. Oil changes, new tires and brake replacements can cost hundreds of dollars. Sometimes, though, cars have defects that are not related to maintenance issues. They are caused by the manufacturer, and if they cause safety issues, the manufacturer can be at fault.
A defect can cause serious injury or even death. That’s why preserving your legal rights and filing a claim is important.
Many recalls have been initiated in recent years. These recalls have affected GM, Ford, Toyota and other car manufacturers. Recalls are required when a car has a safety-related defect or when the equipment does not meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
The defect may occur in many parts of the car. You can file a claim if you discover a defect in the body, frame, brakes, engine assembly, temperature control system, fuel system, electrical system, lubrication, exhaust system, passenger compartment, transmission, drivetrain, steering and suspension. Things that would not be considered defects include a broken radio, rust, peeling paint, a dead battery, and excessive oil consumption.
What Conditions Need to Exist?
A product liability claim falls under strict liability, which means that you do not have to prove that the manufacturer was careless. However, there are three other conditions that must be met:
- The vehicle had a dangerous defect that caused injury. The defect may have been created during design, manufacture or shipment. Failure to warn consumers of a dangerous car part also falls under this category.
- You used the vehicle as intended. For example, you did not try to go four-wheel driving in the woods with your Corvette.
- You did not substantially change the car’s condition since the day you bought it. For example, you did not add aftermarket exhaust systems after purchasing the car.
Do I Have to Have a Warranty?
You do not have to have a warranty to file a claim against the manufacturer. A warranty typically covers issues that are not maintenance-related but are also not considered defects.
If you have a leaking oil pump, a radio that will not work or no cold air when you turn on the air conditioning, these are situations that a warranty will cover. These are not safety issues and therefore not serious enough to warrant a recall.
If your car’s defect has been the subject of a recall, you will be contacted with further information. You will most likely be able to get the defect repaired or the car replaced at no charge. The only limitation to this is your car’s age. The vehicle cannot be older than 10 years old on the date that the defect has been discovered.
Hire an Austin Defective Products Lawyer
Cars are made of thousands of parts, and when one of them is not working properly, your car may be affected. While one minor defect may not cause much damage, some serious cases can cause loss of control and fatal accidents.
If you have been injured by a product liability issue with your car, seek legal help. The car wreck attorneys at DC Law in Austin, Texas can help. We can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at 512-220-1800 to schedule your free consultation.