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What Is Considered a Safety Issue on a Vehicle?

It's reasonable to anticipate that your vehicle components operate smoothly after purchase or replacement. Nevertheless, on some occasions, these parts might be faulty, posing potential safety hazards on the road.

To be safer while driving, it's crucial to understand what defects qualify as safety issues. Keep reading to learn more about defective auto parts in this post and how to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Defective Auto Parts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) defines a safety defect in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment as a problem that:

  • “Poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety, and”
  • “May exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture”

Examples of defective auto parts can include the following:

  • Steering wheels: Components in steering wheels can cause partial or complete loss of vehicle control.
  • Accelerator controls: These controls can not only break but can also stick, causing danger for the driver and others on the road.
  • Fuel system issues: When there is a fuel leakage, this can cause vehicle fires.
  • Wheels: Wheels can crack or break and result in losing control of the vehicle.
  • Engine cooling fan blades: When defective, these blades can break and injure the people working on the vehicle.
  • Seats: When seats or seat backs fail, this can cause severe injury to drivers and passengers.
  • Critical vehicle components: When these parts break, separate from the vehicle, or fall apart, this can lead to injury or even loss of vehicle control.
  • Wiring system: When the car's wiring system has issues, this can result in a fire or loss of lighting.
  • Airbags: Faulty airbags can deploy when they are not needed or may fail to work in an accident.

If you believe your vehicle has a safety defect, it is important to report it to the NHTSA. If similar reports from a number of individuals are received, this could warrant an investigation to make roads safer. To report a vehicle safety problem, dial 888-327-4236 or 800-424-9393.

Defective Auto Parts That Are Not Safety-Related

While there are many defective auto parts the NHSTA considers to be safety-related, there are also additional defects that do not put people at risk.

Examples of non-safety-related issues in vehicles include:

  • Improperly functioning air conditioners and radios
  • Regular wear and tear of equipment
  • Paint blemishes
  • Excessive oil consumption

Identifying Defective Auto Parts

The consequences of defective auto parts can range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening situations. If safety-related parts malfunction, the effects can potentially be fatal. It's essential to protect yourself and your loved ones from these types of situations.

Here are a few things you can do to mitigate the risks:

  • Research: Before buying any product, be sure to do your own research to catch any issues. You may discover that there are noticeable issues or find that other customers have found defects.
  • Check for recalls: Use the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to identify any recalls that were due to defects or other issues.
  • Regular car maintenance: Be sure to have your car checked and maintained routinely. A professional may be able to catch an issue or even a defect that can protect your safety.

Get in Touch with an Auto Product Liability Attorney

Every automobile company and auto part manufacturer has the responsibility of delivering reliable and secure products to consumers. However, companies can fall short of this obligation. This can result in severe injuries and in some cases, fatalities for consumers. When this occurs, it is imperative that these companies are brought to justice and held accountable for their actions.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a faulty automobile or auto part, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from a seasoned auto product liability attorney. Here at May, Rammell & Wells, we have extensive experience dealing with auto product liability cases, and we will work tirelessly to aggressively pursue the compensation that you rightfully deserve.

Don’t go through the healing process alone. Contact our team at (208) 623-8021 or reach out to us online to learn more.


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