Carmakers’ first priority is to make money. Sometimes that goal comes before driver and passenger safety. General Motors, the parent company to the Chevrolet brand, has a history of delayed recalls regarding unsafe vehicles that have caused numerous injuries and deaths due to defects. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one due to an accident in the Knoxville area involving a Chevrolet subject to a recall, skilled car wreck attorney Mark C. Hartsoe can help you pursue legal action against those at fault. Mr. Hartsoe believes the safety of people who use motor vehicles should be protected to the utmost extent. He fights on behalf of accident victims throughout Tennessee for the compensation they need.General Motors and Chevrolet
During the course of 2014, GM recalled over 29 million vehicles through 54 different recalls. Eight million of the recalled vehicles suffered from a faulty ignition system, some of which were built as early as 1997. Investigations revealed that if the ignition switch was jostled, the airbags could be disabled and the engine turned off, even when a vehicle was traveling fast, which could lead to severe car accidents. Congress began investigating GM for 13 deaths associated with these ignition system failures. In May, the company was fined $35 million by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration for its untimely delay in recalling the dangerous vehicles. The NHTSA stated that GM knew of the issues regarding the ignition switches as of 2001. Many Chevrolet models have been recalled more recently for issues beyond the ignition switch defect, including various air bag problems, overheated exhaust components, and brake issues. Despite hundreds of consumer complaints, GM delayed issuing recalls until many people had already been seriously injured.Holding Automakers Accountable for Defects
Automakers must test their vehicles before distribution to make sure they perform safely. Additionally, they have a duty to design their products in ways that make sure unnecessary dangers are avoided. If a defect is found, manufacturers have three options under the law: to repair the issue, replace the part or vehicle, or refund the consumer. If the damage or the defect cannot be solved by these options, you may have a product liability claim against a manufacturer or other parties. Various entities may be responsible in a product liability lawsuit, including car sellers, distributors, and others with a duty to ensure items they sell or provide are safe.
An injured consumer can hold a defendant manufacturer liable for vehicles or parts that contain either design or manufacturing defects, or if the defendant failed to warn a consumer about its product’s danger. A manufacturing defect is an error that occurs when making or manufacturing a component or vehicle. These defects typically affect a limited number of parts built during a specific time period or in a certain place. Manufacturers that put unreasonably dangerous products on the market are strictly liable for any injuries that result.
A defect in design occurs when the overall design of the product makes it prone to breaking or malfunctioning, even if it is assembled correctly and used in the proper way. Design defects make a product inherently dangerous to its user. To establish that a vehicle was a product of defective design and prevail on a product liability claim, you must show that the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous when it was purchased, that the vehicle was being used in an ordinary or foreseeable manner, and that your injuries and damages resulted from the defect.
If you have been hurt by a recalled Chevrolet vehicle, timing is important to preserve your rights. Under Tennessee law, accident victims have one year to file their claims, or the action is generally time-barred by the statute of limitations. Once liability is established, they may be able to recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, loss of income, property damages, and pain and suffering.Consult a Knoxville Attorney After a Motor Vehicle Accident
People who have been hurt by a Chevrolet that was recalled or should have been recalled may have legal options to consider. Motor vehicle accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe is available to assist residents of Knoxville and the surrounding communities in seeking compensation for their harm. From investigating an accident to negotiations and litigation, Mr. Hartsoe offers devoted and experienced guidance throughout the legal process. To schedule an initial consultation with us, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us online.