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Automotive Safety

In most cases, the risk is associated with the actions of those operating these vehicles – poor or aggressive driving skills, speeding, etc. There might also be risks associated with driving conditions, such as slippery roads or low visibility.

But some of the greatest risks is related to the manufacturing of automobiles.

People suffer life-threatening injuries all the time as a result of the negligence of vehicle manufacturers.

If you or a loved one is injured because a car or truck did not perform as it should have, there are laws in place to protect you. It’s also important you stay up-to-date on the latest information involving vehicle safety and risks.

What Products Have Been the Subject of Vehicle Safety Issues?

In general, modern day vehicles are safe. Most people can drive their cars or trucks for upward of 100,000 miles without anything other than routine maintenance and repairs needed.

Unfortunately, though, there are instances in which a vehicle manufacturer failed to properly test a feature on a vehicle for safety. Consumers purchase the vehicles assuming they are safe and are then injured when a device or feature malfunctions.

Some of the most recent consumer safety issues related to cars include:

Self-Driving Vehicles

Self-driving vehicles might seem as if they are something out of a science fiction movie, but they are an increasingly popular technologically available in today’s world. These vehicles are marketed as being safer than traditionally human-operated vehicles because they remove the risk of human error.

Unfortunately, at least so far, self-driving vehicles have been linked to a number of fatal crashes – incidents that likely would not have occurred had a human driver been in control.

It seems the technology is unable to detect oncoming vehicles and react appropriately. Until self-driving vehicle technology is perfected, people will continue to be injured – or worse – while sharing the road with these vehicles.

Takata Airbags

Airbags were developed to shield drivers and passengers from injuries caused by impact when a car crashes. The airbags burst from the steering wheel or front console and provide a cushioned layer of air. There are also some vehicles that feature side airbags.

When properly activated airbags can provide protection from injuries, but in some cases, airbags have been known to explode at inappropriate times or to contain dangerous materials that harm passengers when deployed.

Airbag manufacturer Takata has been accused of making airbags that contain a chemical that causes the airbag explosion during deployment that results in shrapnel being sprayed into the car’s cabin. Drivers and passengers avoided impact injuries only to suffer injuries from shrapnel as a result of their airbag.

In addition to the Takata airbags, many Continental airbags feature a defect of the Airbag Control Unit that causes the airbag to not work when needed or to inflate randomly when there hasn’t been any impact. In either case, passengers and drivers, as well as other people on the road, can be seriously injured.

GM Ignition Switch

Some vehicles manufactured by General Motors (GM) feature ignition switches that move out of position while the vehicle is in motion, causing the vehicle to lose power. The faulty switches have been blamed for hundreds of accidents that have caused serious injuries and in some cases, been fatal.

Car Manufacturers Make Misleading Environmental Promises

Sometimes the issues with cars and other vehicles aren’t related to safety.

Toyota is facing a class action lawsuit filed by people who discovered their vehicles were burning excessive amounts of oil because of an engine defect.

Similarly, Volkswagen advertised its TDI vehicles as providing better performance and causing lower levels of pollution. It was eventually discovered that the company cheated on emissions tests and the vehicles, in some cases, were actually higher polluting than their counterparts.

Car manufacturers and other companies need to maintain certain standards. It is expected they’ll be honest with consumers and do their best to manufacture and sell safe products. Sadly, this isn’t always the case and consumers must take legal action to hold these companies to appropriate standards.

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