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9 Defective Car Parts That Cause Injuries and Accidents

How Product Liability Can Cause Personal Injury in Car Accidents

Car accidents occur for a number of different reasons, including drivers, forces of nature, and defective products. Vehicles are designed to safely protect their passengers, however, with hundreds of different parts that work together to make a vehicle run, when just one piece is defective, it can cause a series of issues that can lead to an accident or make the consequences of an accident even worse. Below, our expert team of car accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers break down car part product liability in the causing of an accident and injuries.

Top Types of Defective Car Parts

Cars are made up of hundreds of different parts and features that are designed to make operating a vehicle a safe experience. While these hundreds of different parts and pieces are too many to list, there are some pieces that are more commonly defective than others. Here’s how these most common defective car parts can impact driver’s safety: 

  • Tires are an essential control component of a vehicle. They allow for smooth and grounded movement on the road. If a tire or tire part breaks, separates from the vehicle, loses traction, or unexpectedly pops, this can cause a vehicle to lose control and result in an accident. 
  • Brakes are essential to driver safety as they allow vehicles to moderate speeds, make stops, and control them from crashing. If car brakes are defective, drivers won’t be able to control their speeds or their vehicles or come to a stop.
  • Seat Belts provide safety for all passengers in a vehicle. In the state of California, wearing a seatbelt at all times when a vehicle is in motion is mandatory and must be worn appropriately. Seat Belts provide protection upon impact in a crash, protecting passengers from being projected out of a vehicle and or tossed around violently upon crashing. Effective Seat Belts should not unbuckle themselves upon impact and should readily unbuckle when done so manually. Defective seat belts could cause passengers to sustain high impact injuries and/or trap them into the vehicle. 
  • Airbags are intended to lessen the blow of injuries caused by high-impact crashes. Defective airbags might activate upon a low-impact crashing, causing injury to the driver and obstructing their view and handling of the vehicle. Defective airbags also might not activate upon high-impact crashing, not protecting passengers in a crash. Sometimes, defective airbags might activate upon a crash, but might do so in a way that is too quick and forceful that causes injuries, including broken bones and concussions. 
  • Windshield wipers function to assist a driver’s visibility of the road in front of them by wiping away water when it is raining. Defective windshield wipers might not function correctly, either not wiping at all, or wiping in a way that still obscures the view, leaving a driver’s view obstructed which can lead to an accident.
  • Accelerators function to help put a vehicle in motion and accelerate the speed of a vehicle. However, if an accelerator is defective or breaks, it could lock, leaving a driver in a very dangerous position as the vehicle accelerates out of their control. A defective accelerator can also cause an accident by not functioning property, disallowing a vehicle to accelerate. This can be especially dangerous if a vehicle loses motion while out on the road. 
  • Steering components function to help a driver direct the positioning of wheels of their vehicle. If a steering component breaks or locks, a driver could lose control of the vehicle, causing an accident. 
  • Fuel systems function to fuel a vehicle so that it can function. If a fuel system component becomes defective, then the fuel might not properly hold or administer the fuel to the vehicle. If fuel leakage occurs, this can be extremely dangerous and even cause a fire. 
  • Electrical systems, which include the battery, starter, and alternator, function to provide vehicles with electric power. If an electrical system is defective, it can cause an energy shortage for the vehicle, which can be especially detrimental to electric-run vehicles. For gas-run or hybrid vehicles, a defective electrical system could disallow a vehicle to start-up right or function essential features such as lights for signaling and stopping.

Product Liability

The state of California is a non-no fault state, meaning that when an accident happens, somebody must be found at fault for causing the accident, even if the accident seemed to be caused by no individual in particular. When a car accident or injuries are caused by a product failure, the manufacturers can be held responsible for product liability. Product liability means that the manufacturers were negligent in assuring that the product was completely safe before sending it off onto the market. California is also a comparative liability state, meaning that more than one entity can be held liable for causing an accident or injuries. This means that the negligence of all parties involved in causing the accident will be compared and each of them can be held responsible for the role they played. Defective car parts are partial to product liability, meaning that the manufacturer or distributor of these products could be held liable for accidents and injuries caused by a defective product.

Need a Car Accident Injury Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

Get the compensation that you deserve! If you are injured in a car accident, you should consult an attorney about getting compensation from insurance companies of the parties responsible for your loss. Our experienced team of car accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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