Auto Defects that Commonly Lead to Accidents in Virginia


Driving is an essential part of daily life for most people in Virginia. With so many motorists on the roads, auto defects that lead to accidents are an unfortunate reality. Defective auto parts or faulty vehicle design can put drivers and passengers at tremendous risk. When an auto defect leads to a crash, victims have legal rights under product liability laws. Here at Monge & Associates, our Roanoke car accident lawyers will examine some of the most common auto defects linked to accidents in Virginia and provide an overview of your legal options for pursuing compensation.

Faulty Tires

Tires are one of the most crucial safety components on any vehicle. Yet defective or worn-out tires play a role in many Virginia auto accidents each year. Tread separation is one common tire defect, where the outer tread pulls away from the rest of the tire. Tread separation can cause the driver to lose control, leading to rollover accidents or collisions. Another common problem is detached belt plies inside the tire. This can cause a blowout or sudden air loss. Manufacturing flaws like these make tires unsafe and prone to failure. When a faulty tire causes an accident in Virginia, the tire maker may be liable.

Defective Airbags

Airbags are designed to deploy rapidly in a crash to protect occupants. However, defective airbags sometimes fail to go off when needed. Other times they explode violently or eject sharp metal fragments on deployment. According to the NHTSA, over 28 million defective Takata airbags were installed in U.S. vehicles, leading to at least 28 deaths. With airbags being so widely defective, it is not surprising they are linked to many Virginia accidents. Victims may have legal options against the automaker or airbag manufacturer.

Faulty Seat Belts

Worn or defective seat belts represent another common auto defect. Seat belts are engineered to restrain occupants in a collision. But limp, frayed or detached belts often fail to properly secure passengers. Defective buckles also prevent seat belts from latching properly. When faulty belts or buckles lead to occupant ejection or increased injuries in an accident, the automaker may bear responsibility.

Defective Brakes

Brakes are one of the most important safety components, allowing drivers to slow and stop vehicles. Defective brakes greatly raise the odds of a crash. Common issues include brake pads wearing down too quickly, leaks in brake fluid lines, problems with anti-lock brake sensors, defective master cylinders, and problems with electronic stability control. Drivers in Virginia and nationwide have reported unintended acceleration incidents blamed on brake defects. Automakers have a duty to test brakes rigorously and fix any defects before cars hit the market.

Defective Steering Systems

Safe steering is essential to control a moving vehicle. Steering defects make cars hard to maneuver and increase accident risks. Steering columns prone to locking, detached tie rods, defective power steering pumps, and problems with electronic steering sensors have all caused wrecks. Automakers face liability when they sell cars with steering components prone to malfunction.

Defective Wheels

Wheels endure high stress while supporting vehicles in motion. Weak or defective materials can lead to cracked or fractured wheels. Wheels can also come loose if wheel nuts are poorly tightened at factories. Defective wheels have led to many rollover crashes in Virginia and elsewhere. Automakers must use strong materials and proper manufacturing methods to avoid wheel defects.

Defective Vehicle Structure

The overall vehicle structure needs to maintain integrity in a crash to protect occupants. But defective welds, weak pillars or joints, and problems with door latches can leave passengers vulnerable. Vehicle bodies that collapse or eject occupants due to defects put people at risk. Automakers extensively test structural components and crashworthiness during design. If they cut corners or disregard test results, liability for injuries may follow when defective structure contributes to an accident.

Defective Electronic Systems

Today’s vehicles contain complex electronic systems that control acceleration, braking, airbags, and more. Software glitches or hardware defects in these critical systems can lead to sudden malfunctions. For example, a defective sensor could cause unintended acceleration. Or defective firmware could disable airbags in a collision. Automakers must safeguard electronic systems through extensive testing and updates.

Defective Child Safety Seats

Parents rely on child safety seats to protect young passengers. But recalls are frequent due to defective seats that don’t adequately restrain children in a crash. Seats with defective harness straps, buckles, shell integrity or installation instructions have been sold and used in Virginia and other states. When a defective child seat leads to injuries, the manufacturer may be held legally responsible.

Know Your Legal Rights

The defects above contribute to many Virginia auto accidents each year. Victims injured due to a defective vehicle or part can pursue legal claims against automakers and suppliers under product liability laws. An experienced Virginia accident attorney from Monge & Associates can help victims recover damages like:

  • Medical expenses from accident injuries
  • Lost income and reduced earning capacity
  • Repair/replacement costs for a defective vehicle
  • Pain and suffering

Manufacturers have a legal duty to only sell vehicles and components free of dangerous defects. When their negligence leads to foreseeable injuries, they must compensate victims. Consult an attorney to explore your legal rights if you or a loved one were harmed due to an auto defect in Virginia. Strict time limits apply, so do not delay. With expert help, you can hold automakers accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.

Driving on Virginia roads comes with risks, due to both human error and defective vehicles. Drivers must stay alert to avoid accidents. But when auto defects cause a crash, legal options exist to pursue damages against manufacturers. Understanding common defects linked to wrecks empowers consumers to make safer purchases and exercise their rights. With lives on the line, automakers must be held to account when they cut corners on safety.

Contact Monge & Associates if you need legal advice regarding an accident caused by auto defects. We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Virginia, Arizona and Alabama.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.

Voted Best Law Firm by American Institute of Trial Lawyers