Defective Seatbelts Can Lead to Deadly Auto Accidents

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on December 20, 2016

A car accidentWhen the people of Provo need strong legal representation in a product liability lawsuit, they can count on our attorneys. The lawyers at our firm have ample experience in product lawsuits, which includes cases that involve car defects that caused auto accidents.

There are numerous automotive defects that can contribute directly to collisions, from brake defects to issues with steering. Some automaker defects involve a failure to keep drivers and passengers safe. Such is the case with defective seatbelts.

Motor Vehicles Should Be Safe

Whenever there's a motor vehicle on the market, we expect them to be safe for people to drive and to ride in. Basic safety should not be out of the question, and that's especially true when it comes to the seatbelts and safety restraints in a vehicle. Yet there are times when seat belts do not function like they were supposed to, which means that accidents that shouldn't cause injuries can suddenly become a source of serious harm.

Issues with Defective Car Safety Restraints

There are many ways in which seatbelts can malfunction. These may include the following issues:

  • Inertial Unlatching – Inertial unlatching occurs when a seatbelt unlatches as a result of the force from an auto collision.

  • False Latching – False latching refers to a belt clicking and seeming to lock even though it is not really secure.

  • Ripped Belt Webbing – Tearing or ripping of the belt material itself could result in non-retraint or just partial restraint of an individual during a collision.

  • Retractor Failure – Retractor mechanisms help hold seat belts in place. Failur of the belt retractor to lock the belt can result in too much slack, which may mean less than optimal protection.

  • Poor Belt Anchor Placement – The seatbelts in a vehicle may not be anchored in a secure place, meaning that a strong collision could result in the restraint system failing.

Minor Accidents Can Become Dangerous and Even Deadly

No matter how a seatbelt malfunctions, it can cause minor accidents to become the source of serious injury. In the case of more serious accidents, a failed seatbelt could mean the difference between life and death.

Proper Design and Materials Need to Be Considered

When automakers are designing and manufacturing their vehicles, the proper materials need to be used and modern advanced in safety need to be taken into account. Cutting corners on design or materials cannot be tolerated since it puts people's lives at risk.

The Importance of Quality Control and Testing

Even if a vehicle seems to be safe in terms of its design, there needs to be a rigorous and serious amount of quality control. This includes crash tests and stress tests to ensure that safety restraints meed current safety standards. The crashworthiness of the vehicle must also be tested in such a manner to protect everyone within it should a collision occur.

Recalls Should Be Issued If Problems Are Caught

An automaker may detect a serious defect of their seatbelts and safety systems after the vehicle has reached the market. In such cases, a recall needs to be issued and made public as soon as possible in order to prevent potential injuries and fatalities.

Holding Automakers Accountable

When automakers fail to create safe vehicles and do not take into account the safety of consumers, they need to be held accountable. Having skilled product liability lawyers on your side will help ensure your legal rights and the rights of countless others are represented in court.

Learn More About Automotive Defects

For more information about your legal rights and options following a serious product malfunction, be sure to contact our team of personal injury lawyers today. Our attorneys will help you in your time of legal need, offering sound counsel every step of the way.

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