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What is Auto Product Liability?

Auto product liability refers to a legal burden held by car manufactures. In short, car manufacturers are responsible to create safe vehicles and automotive components. If a car is innately flawed, the manufacturer could be held responsible for any accidents and injuries caused by the defect.


While many things can go wrong with your vehicle, some types of defects cause more accidents than others do. Listed below are some of the most common causes of auto product liability:

  • Tire Defects
    When tires are improperly made or they sit too long on shelves before they are sold, they can have an early failure rate. Owners should take care to monitor their tires so they can notice when the tread is getting low and notice if there are any tears or punctures. Unfortunately, even when owners take care of their tires, they can blow out while the vehicle is in motion, causing serious accidents.
  • Steering Defects
    Without accurate steering, a vehicle is at a high risk of an accident. Some makes and models of cars come with defective power steering that can result in the driver losing control of their vehicle. There are many mechanical components that contribute to the proper functioning of the steering. When even one of these is wrong, accidents can occur.
  • Unintended Acceleration
    This is one of the more recent auto product defects. There are a few different makes and models of vehicles that all had the same or similar defect, and that is, the vehicle would accelerate without any prompting from the driver. Some vehicles experienced this because of floor mat defects and others because of poor pedal placement.

In 2009, the Toyota Avalon was experiencing unintended acceleration by way of defective floor mats. Other Toyota vehicles included in the unintended acceleration recalls were the Corolla, Camry, Tacoma, Matrix, and the Pontiac Vibe. Certain Audi 5000 vehicles also experienced sudden power surges similar to those experienced with Toyota.


Millions of people are driving each day, and with countless drivers and unforeseen hazards, it is all too easy for a mistake to be made. Sometimes the error does not come from driver negligence but can be from a defect in the automobile being driven. There are many components to a car that make it function and any one of these can go wrong. While basic vehicle maintenance is necessary, in some cases it is actually a defect in the car.

When an accelerator pad that sticks, the brakes are faulty or the tires are defective, the car may not be working as it should. The error may have happened during any part of the process and the manufacturers may be held liable for it. When they put a product out on the market, they can be held accountable for how it performs. Many times a company will do a recall when they find a defect, however, it can often be after the fact of the damage already occurring.


When a defect in your car does lead to an accident or injury, it is important to keep the vehicle; it is now evidence for your defective auto claim or lawsuit. For additional information, or to see what a St. Louis car accident attorney from our law firm can do for your case, fill out an online case evaluation form today!

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