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Automotive Defect Litigation

by Whitfield Bryson | Consumer Products | Share

Consumer product recalls are extremely common in our modern society. Food, toys, and other products are often recalled for health or safety related issues, and motor vehicles are no exception. Automobile recall notices are issued by auto manufacturers and are quite common, with many resulting in automotive defect litigation.

Although technological advances have improved airbags, seatbacks, seatbelts, fuel tanks, and other automotive features, no motor vehicle is infallible. Despite premarket testing, cars and trucks are mass-produced, and thus can be released to the market with safety hazards and construction or design defects, which subsequently lead to recalls.

Generally, there are two types of automotive defect litigation lawsuits: (1) defective manufacturing of motor vehicles or auto component parts and (2) motor vehicles with an unreasonably dangerous design. In the first type of claim, the claimant is alleging a product was improperly manufactured. The manufacturing defect could result from the way the vehicle or part was made at the factory or because the product was damaged somewhere between the factory and the consumer.  The second type of claim involves vehicles or vehicle parts designed in a way that causes injuries and/or other damages.

Common Automotive Defects

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks and handles auto recalls. According to NHTSA and our own practice experience, some of the most common types of automotive defects include:

  • Accelerator mechanisms that fail to function properly or freeze
  • Airbag deployment defects
  • Brake defects that cause the mechanism to freeze up
  • Defective headlamps
  • Defective turn signals
  • Defects in the car’s onboard electronic system
  • Failure to meet emissions standards
  • Faulty or defective tires
  • Fuel leaks that could potentially cause the car to set on fire
  • Power window defects
  • Roof or roll-bar defects
  • Steering defects that cause loss of control of the vehicle
  • Wiring flaws that are a fire hazard

Automotive Defect Lawyers

At Whitfield Bryson LLP, our automotive defect attorneys have experience representing hundreds of clients nationwide who were injured by dangerous defective products. Our trial lawyers have helped injured parties recover damages in connection with numerous recalls from carmakers, so contact us today for a free and confidential initial consultation and case evaluation.


Whitfield Bryson

Our trial lawyers were specifically chosen for the depth of their experience and the breadth of their knowledge. Among the group are attorneys who have been recognized for excellence by industry associations and have gained national recognition for significant victories in challenging cases.

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John Whitfield has been significant in his management of a suit involving the death of my son in a motorcycle accident. His professionalism, compassion, support, and especially his knowledge base in this suit has been above reproach. He has communicated well and kept all parties apprised of the status of the suit. I feel he negotiated effectively to reach the best possible settlement for my son's estate. He certainly assures his clients are represented well. I am grateful for his successfully bringing this suit to a satisfactory conclusion. In short, John's expertise has been awesome.

Guy Lossing
Lincoln, Nebraska

I am very grateful to Whitfield Bryson for taking the initiative in filing suit against the manufacturers of defective CSST pipe. I am sure that this successful litigation will now help Maryland homeowners become aware of the danger of old style CSST pipe and to let them know what steps they may take to protect themselves against those dangers. Who knows how many lives and homes may be saved as a result of his efforts. Thank you for your important work in this litigation.

George Laufert
Cambridge, Maryland
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