Do Stricter Regulations Lead to Fewer Vehicle Product Liability Claims in Georgia? An Analysis

Georgia has seen a rise in vehicle product liability claims in recent years, leaving many wondering if stricter regulations could help reverse this trend. Vehicle product liability claims arise when a defect in a vehicle’s design, manufacturing, or marketing causes injury or damage. Georgia product liability laws allow consumers to pursue legal action if a vehicle is unreasonably dangerous due to a defect.

In this article, we’ll analyze vehicle regulations in Georgia and research whether tighter regulations correspond to fewer product liability claims. If you are harmed due to a vehicle defect, be sure to contact a car accident attorney in Atlanta, GA for assistance as soon as possible.

Vehicle Regulations in Georgia

Georgia has both federal and state-level regulations for vehicle safety and emissions. At the federal level, all vehicles sold in the US must comply with standards from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Georgia does not set separate state-level emissions standards but has enacted some additional vehicle regulations, including:

  • Mandatory annual vehicle safety inspections in 13 counties in the Atlanta metro area
  • Restrictions on window tinting and bumper heights
  • Required use of child safety seats
  • Ban on texting while driving
  • Points system for traffic violations

Trends in Product Liability Claims

Has the frequency of vehicle product liability claims decreased as these regulations took effect? The data shows a mixed picture:

  • NHTSA regulations have led to improved vehicle safety over time. Features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control have prevented many crashes and reduced injury severity when crashes occur.
  • However, the total number of product liability claims in Georgia has increased over the past decade. Contributing factors include more vehicles on the road, more complex vehicle technology, aggressive advertising by attorneys, and consumers’ high expectations of safety.
  • The types of claims have shifted over time. Historically, many claims involved defective tires and seat belts. Recently, claims related to electronics, sensors, and autonomous features have become more common.
  • Settlement costs for manufacturers have also risen, as today’s vehicles contain more expensive technology.

While regulations have improved baseline vehicle safety, it seems they have not stemmed the tide of product liability litigation. The increasing complexity of vehicles and consumer expectations provide ongoing challenges.

Other Options for Reducing Claims

If regulations alone seem insufficient, what other steps could help minimize vehicle product liability claims in Georgia? Potential options include:

  • Improved pre-market testing requirements for new technologies like autonomous driving. Current regulations do not mandate enough real-world validation.
  • Making recall repairs mandatory rather than voluntary. Currently, manufacturers issue recalls, but owners often do not complete the repair.
  • Limiting damage claims to reasonable costs rather than the full replacement value of a defective vehicle.
  • Enacting a tax credit for manufacturers that implement state-of-the-art quality control measures. This incentive could promote safety innovations.
  • Requiring binding arbitration clauses in new vehicle sales contracts. Arbitration could resolve cases more quickly and cheaply than litigation.

While regulations have promoted baseline vehicle safety, product liability trends show there is room for improvement. A combination of tighter regulations and alternative policies may help rein in burgeoning claims in Georgia.

Get Help after an Accident

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident caused by a vehicle defect, contact the experienced attorneys at Monge & Associates. For over 30 years, we have helped victims of vehicle defects, truck crashes, and other incidents caused by corporate negligence. We have 32 offices in 19 states, including Georgia, Washington, and Virginia, and our dedicated legal team can evaluate your case at no charge.

Call today to schedule your free consultation on (888) 477-0597.