Modern automobiles are complicated machines. The vehicles that some Billings residents drive contain complex computers that control the machines' critical operations, such as shifting and acceleration. Aside from the high-tech features that distinguish modern cars from their predecessors, today's vehicles also contain more recognizable parts, such as their frames, wheels, lights, and windows.
Both the high-tech and low-tech features of a car or truck can fall victim to a defect. Defective parts on an automobile can result from design flaws or manufacturing problems. A design flaw results when a part is made as planned but the design is insufficient to properly perform its intended function. A manufacturing problem creates a dangerous or defective product that does not meet the specifications of its design.
Most any part of a vehicle can be deemed defective if it poses threats to consumers. Many vehicle and parts recalls have been issued for automobiles produced by a variety of manufacturers; automotive recalls are initiated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Common defects that cars have suffered are unsafe steering components that cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, faulty wiring systems that lead to vehicles losing their lights and experiencing fires, and defective accelerator assemblies that can stick and get jammed. When serious defective parts problems arise and result in consumer injuries, recalls are often issued to remedy the dangerous elements of the affected cars.
An auto defect may lay dormant in a car for some time without causing the vehicle's owner any injury. However, when a person suffers harm as a result of a defective vehicle or vehicle component, he or she may have rights to seek compensation from various parties that were responsible for putting the vehicle into the consumer's hands. Auto design and manufacturing defects are often covered under products liability theories of law and individuals with related claims can seek the support of a personal injury attorney.