Key Steps to Take When Dealing With a Defective Vehicle
There are a few key elements to a successful defective vehicle claim. You must speak with an attorney immediately if you have a defective car that could be a hazard to yourself or other vehicles on the roads.
Car defects can cause accidents and serious injuries for the vehicle occupants. Defective vehicles can result from a design, manufacturing, or warning failure.
Report the Defect
If you notice a car part malfunctioning or the vehicle has an issue, it’s important to report it immediately. It’s not only illegal to drive a dangerous defective vehicle, but it can also be very dangerous for you and other drivers on the road. If you’re unsure how to report a defect, talk with your dealer or the manufacturer.
It’s often through consumer complaints that authorities such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) become aware of auto defects. The agency can then remove unsafe cars and help injured consumers.
When reporting a defect, be as detailed as possible. Include the vehicle identification number (VIN), a description of how the defect occurred and any other relevant information. It’s helpful to have documentation, such as pictures from a crash or details and invoices from repairs or replacements.
When submitting a complaint, you can ask the manufacturer to refund your money or give you a new vehicle of similar value. However, the manufacturer can only do this if the defect significantly impaired the value of your car and was not caused by abuse or neglect. If your vehicle has a serious defect and is involved in a crash, you could be entitled to damages for your injuries.
Inspect the Car
A car is supposed to be a safe, reliable mode of transportation, but defective automobiles cause countless accidents and injuries yearly. Often, such accidents are due to defects in the vehicle’s design or manufacturing process. This can lead to a wide range of injuries, from minor ones, such as a broken headlight, to major ones, including serious burns and brain damage.
To protect yourself, it’s important to inspect a used car thoroughly before buying it. Test all the technology, such as the backup camera and infotainment system. Try a variety of modes and volume settings, and be sure to get a good look at the front and rear seats for tears and stains. Open and close the windows and doors, and check the rubber seals for rot and blistering paint. Rust is a bad sign, especially around wheel wells and the body panels beneath the doors.
Ask the dealer for a full inspection report. If possible, seek out a mechanic who specializes in the make of the car you’re interested in. They may be able to identify problems that you might have missed. Check all the lights, including the headlights, high beams, emergency flashers, turn signals (front and back), and side lights. Lastly, test the radiator fluid and listen for a whine or grinding sound when starting the engine. If the fluid is brown or smells like burning plastic, it could indicate a problem with the cooling system.
Ask for a Refund
If a problem with your car persists after several attempts to repair it, you may be entitled to compensation under state Lemon Laws. This law gives consumers a refund or a replacement vehicle, depending on the situation.
The first thing to do is report the defect to the dealer. Ensure you thoroughly describe the problem and how it differs from what was described at the time of purchase or delivery. You should also have copies of relevant documents, including receipts, repair orders, warranties, and canceled checks. Be clear about what you want to be resolved, such as a refund, repair, exchange, or store credit.
It would help if you gave the dealership reasonable chances to repair the problem. If the dealer cannot fix your car after a fair amount of attempts, you can ask for a refund or a replacement under the Lemon Law.
Unfortunately, some dealers are reluctant to work with their customers. If you feel that the dealership could be more helpful, it may be time to speak with the best lemon law attorney in California. The law firm specializing in lemon law can assist you with finding the best solution possible for your situation. This could include filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer and dealership for violating consumer rights.
Contact an Attorney
Automobiles are complex machinery requiring thousands of parts to work properly. When one part is defective, it can compromise the safety of other drivers on the road. Automakers and dealerships have a responsibility to sell cars that are safe to drive as designed. When they fail in this duty, it can lead to serious injuries and property damage.
Many things, including defective design, manufacturing, and marketing errors, can cause car defects. A bad product lawyer can help you determine the appropriate defendants to pursue a claim against. A motor vehicle defect attorney could also help you take the next steps after a crash caused by a defective auto component.
If you have a defective vehicle, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is important. The sooner you reach out to an experienced attorney, the sooner you can get back on the road and recover your damages. For more information, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced motor vehicle defect attorney. You can also fill out a free case evaluation form online. All consultations are free and confidential. We independently verify and screen all attorneys on our platform for their qualifications, experience, and standing with bar associations in your state. We only connect you with the best lawyers for your unique legal needs.