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Automotive Defects & Recalls

rear view of cars on congested highwayVehicles with dangerous defects and those subject to auto recalls put the lives of drivers, passengers and bystanders alike in serious jeopardy, and when serious injuries result from their use, victims may be entitled to receive financial compensation. Car manufacturers owe consumers a duty to ensure that when vehicle defects are discovered, warnings are issued in a timely manner.

Sadly, recent years have witnessed multiple incidents in which that duty was blatantly neglected, as evidenced by the safety concerns that have plagued Toyota and General Motors of late.

At the Sanders Firm, our New York product liability lawyers are committed to seeking justice on behalf of injury victims and holding car makers accountable when their actions constitute a breach of the public trust.

Dangers of defective and recalled vehicles

Given the large number of distinct parts in each and every vehicle, the potential for a wide array of injuries is quite real. Life-altering, debilitating harm can occur anytime one or more parts fails and causes the car to malfunction. Vehicle recalls occur with alarming frequency, suggesting that millions of cars currently on the road include defective and possibly dangerous components.

Design flaws and manufacturing defects are frequently brought to the attention of consumers via recalls, but in some cases, the automakers themselves have taken actions to disguise or conceal known problems with their products in order to keep profits high. Regrettably, this can result in serious injury and death.

The range and scope of injuries caused by defective auto parts is virtually limitless, and thousands of drivers and passengers suffer harm each year.

Common vehicle defects resulting in recalls include things such as:

  • Seatbelt defects
  • Tire defects
  • Brake problems
  • Seatback flaws
  • Accelerator pedal concerns
  • Airbags
  • Rollover risk

Fortunately, the law provides victims the ability to pursue compensation from the parties responsible for the design, manufacturing and marketing of dangerous products. Since 1967, the New York auto recall lawyers of The Sanders Firm have provided those harmed by defective vehicles with the knowledgeable, effective legal representation necessary to secure fair financial recovery.

Reasons to file a vehicle recall lawsuit

Auto accidents caused by the failure of a defectively manufactured or designed auto part can be truly devastating to those involved as well as to their families. Severe, permanent injuries and wrongful death can leave you and your loved ones feeling hopeless and wondering where to turn. At The Sanders Firm, our overriding mission is to provide injury victims with an unrivaled level of personal attention and diligent advocacy.

We will leave no stone unturned in our effort to secure every dollar of compensation to which you are entitled, which can include payment for:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Ongoing physical therapy
  • Home accessibility modifications
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Funeral expenses, where applicable

Because we have spent our legal careers in service to those injured by the acts and omissions others, we understand the destruction that auto recalls can cause to individuals and families. For that reason, we pledge to bring our extensive network of resources to bear in order to secure justice.

Liability in auto defect cases

To establish liability in an auto defect product liability lawsuit, it is necessary to demonstrate that you suffered distinct injuries or losses, that the vehicle or part at issue was defectively designed or manufactured and that the defect itself was the true cause of your injury. It is often possible for liability in such cases to attach to parties other than just the major auto manufacturers themselves, as distributors, vendors and others in the overall supply chain may also bear responsibility for resulting harm.

Common theories used to assert liability can include:

  • Breach of implied warranties
  • Breach of express warranties
  • Strict products liability
  • Misrepresentation or fraud

There is no denying the fact that vehicle recalls and defect cases are extremely complex matters involving a great deal of evidence and technical analysis. Building a winning case against an auto maker is no small task, given their large legal staffs and deep pockets. However, since its inception, The Sanders Firm has worked to cultivate an extensive network of skilled case investigators, engineering experts and support staff, all of whom are prepared to assemble the most effective arguments possible on your behalf.

Recent vehicle recalls affect millions

While auto recalls are intended to provide warning and remedies to consumers affected by dangerous and defective auto parts, recent events have underscored the fact that such programs are often insufficient to protect the public from harm. Since February of 2014, General Motors has recalled over 2.6 million of its small cars due to faulty ignition switches known to cut engine power even at highway speeds and subsequently deactivate air bags.

The defect has been linked to at least 13 deaths and many more injuries. Though lawsuits against the car maker are only just beginning to emerge, the company has already engaged the services of a lawyer famous for managing damage payouts in the aftermath of disasters, a potentially strong signal that it may be willing to pay compensation to victims, despite the fact that its 2009 bankruptcy arguably relieved it of liability. Market analysts have suggested that GM would need to set aside no less than $2 billion in order to handle the volume of expected claims.

March 2014 also saw a landmark settlement between Toyota Motor Corporation and the United States Department of Justice stemming from claims that the automaker misled the public about defects that resulted in unintended, sudden acceleration in its vehicles. The company agreed to pay a record-breaking fine of $1.2 billion, the largest sanction ever assessed against a car maker. That sum brought the entire cost to Toyota of the sudden acceleration issue to roughly $5 billion, inclusive of all fines, settlement payments, lost revenue and repair costs.

The significant amount of penalties and settlements surrounding these recent recall and defect controversies highlight the fact that dangers posed to the public at large by auto companies are taken very seriously and that substantial compensation is often available for victims of this type of negligence. The Sanders Firm is committed to seeking justice for those harmed by defective automobiles and to sending a message that corporate indifference to public safety will not go unanswered.

NYC product liability lawyers

While the law does provide avenues of recourse to those injured by recalled and defective automobiles, time is of the essence. New York statutes require product liability claims to be filed within three years of the injury date. Thus, if you or someone you love has sustained serious injuries or been killed by a dangerously designed or manufactured vehicle, you cannot afford to delay. Our personal injury attorneys  have secured impressive settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injured individuals throughout New York and Long Island.

To schedule a confidential and free consultation, contact us at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY at any time. We look forward to assessing the facts of your case and discussing available legal options.

  1. CNN Money, Lawyer wants recalled GM cars off the road, https://money.cnn.com/2014/03/27/autos/gm-park-recalled-cars/

  2. New York Times, G.M. Hires Lawyer Specializing in Disaster Payouts, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/business/gm-chief-expresses-remorse-at-house-hearing.html

  3. Los Angeles Times, Toyota admits deceiving consumers; $1.2 billion penalty is record, https://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/19/business/la-fi-toyota-settlement-20140320

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