Defective Brakes and Tires Lawyer in Houston, TX
Properly functioning brakes and tires are essential for the safe control and operation of a motor vehicle. When brake systems or tires malfunction because of a design, manufacturing, or warning defect, the results can be disastrous.
In fact, the two most common factors in motor vehicle accidents caused by equipment defects are tire and brake-related problems. There were approximately 15,000 tire-related crashes and 10,000 brake-related accidents in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you have been injured in a crash that you believe was caused by defective brakes or tires, you may be able to sue the company or companies responsible for the automotive product. With the help of the Houston automotive defect lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses in a product liability lawsuit.
Brake systems are one of the most important safety features on any vehicle. Slowing down or immediately stopping at a moment’s notice is an essential part of driving and is critical in preventing crashes. Modern braking systems are much safer than they used to be, but are also more complicated.
There can be a multitude of reasons why brakes fail to work properly. Some examples of brake defects include:
- Missing brake pads or components
- Cracks in brake drum or disc
- Brakes or components that are prone to overheating
- Improper installation (e.g. brake pad fitted incorrectly)
- Detachment of friction material due to faulty production
- Use of sub-par materials
A defective tire or wheel can cause blowouts, which can drastically increase your chances of being involved in a crash. The most common type of tire defect involves tread separations (also known as “belt-leaving-belt”) in which the tread and outer steel belt completely detach from the inner steel belt.
When tread separation occurs, drivers often lose control of the vehicle, which can lead to rollover accidents resulting in serious injury or death. A flawed design or poor quality control in the manufacturing process can make tires more prone to tread separation.
Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the NHTSA is authorized to issue motor vehicle defects and safety recalls. The NHTSA issues recalls anytime a vehicle or its equipment (including tires and brakes) do not comply with federal standards or has a safety-related defect.
A defect is any problem in the performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or its equipment that:
- poses a risk to motor vehicle safety, and
- may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture
Manufacturers of tires and braking systems are required by law to report any safety-related defects and violations to the NHTSA. Under NHTSA’s early warning reporting regulation, tire manufacturers have an increased burden of providing comprehensive data to the agency, which must include any fatality and injury claims that are made in connection with their products.
NTSB Reports Indicates Recall System for Tires is Broken
However, a 2015 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation revealed that the federal recall system is flawed and ineffective when it comes to defective tires. In fact, their report indicated that only one in five tires is taken out of service because of recalls.
According to the NTSB report, the issue is that manufacturers are unable to reach consumers directly to warn them about defects. Based on NTSB data, 3.2 million tires were recalled between 2009 and 2013, most consumers are not aware of these recalls. This is likely because independent tire retailers or distributors do not have to register the tires they sell with manufacturers so it is difficult for consumers to find out about recalls.
Contact Our Houston Product Liability Lawyers
The Houston product liability lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have over 27 years of experience litigating cases involving a wide range of dangerous products, including defective tires and brakes. We have the resources, skills, and knowledge to fight for the maximum possible compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Because of our extensive experience handling product liability cases in Texas, we can anticipate the kinds of arguments designers, manufacturers, distributors, or retailers will try to make to avoid liability. We understand the evidence needed to build a strong case and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.