Automakers have a duty to perform diligent safety and crashworthiness tests on their vehicles to ensure that parts and designs are safe for motorists. When a car manufacturer installs substandard parts in its vehicles, the quality of safety features often declines, leading to serious accidents and resulting injuries. Nissan has issued recalls on numerous models and vehicles from 2001 to 2006, citing various issues related to dangerous parts. Given the timing, consumers have still been subject to serious injuries by dangerous cars that remain on the road and vehicles that should have been recalled. Motor vehicle collision lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe is available to help residents of Knoxville and the surrounding area who have been hurt by these defective cars. He is experienced in handling these complex claims and guiding clients through the legal process.Recalled Nissan Vehicles
Over the past few years, various Nissan vehicles have been recalled due to different problems. Nissan began issuing recalls for vehicles containing defective airbags, including the following makes and models:
- 2001-2003 Maximas
- 2001-2004 Pathfinders
- 2002-2006 Sentras
The airbags used in these vehicles were made by Takata, a Japanese company that supplies the safety feature to many United States car manufacturers. Reports about these airbags malfunctioning and exploding began as early as 2001. By 2004, numerous incidents and injuries involving airbags that deployed improperly, causing metal and plastic shrapnel to spray drivers and passengers, began to surface. Yet Takata failed to issue a recall until 2008. Takata airbags were also linked to massive Honda recalls, as well as millions of other vehicle problems nationally and worldwide. In addition to these airbag issues, Nissan also recalled its 2014 Leaf models after finding issues with its motor control circuit board that caused vehicles to suddenly shut down.Claims Based on Defective Autos
If an unsafe vehicle causes harm to a driver or passenger, a victim can pursue compensation by filing a product liability action. Manufacturers have a duty to make sure their products are free from unreasonable danger. An item is defective when it fails to work as it was designed to function. A car or its parts can be flawed for various reasons, and when a defect is present, manufactures are required by law to repair the issue, replace a defective part, or refund the consumer. If these remedies are not sufficient or do not occur, a consumer injured by the defect may be entitled to compensation.
An individual may file a product liability claim to establish that his or her vehicle contained a manufacturing or design defect, or that the defendant or defendants failed to issue proper warnings regarding a dangerous product. Manufacturing defects occur when the assembly of the product contains a mistake, and a certain vehicle or model falls out of line with others based on the same design. Manufacturers can be held strictly liable for manufacturing defects, regardless of the steps or precautions they may take during the process. A consumer need only show that a vehicle was unreasonably dangerous when it left the maker’s control.
A design defect occurs when the overall design of a product is deficient, regardless of the manufacturing process, and therefore prone to breaking or malfunctioning. These defects render a product inherently dangerous when subject to ordinary use, such as an airbag that may explode upon a minor impact. In these claims, an individual must establish that a vehicle or part was unreasonably dangerous when it left the defendant’s control, that it was being used in the manner in which it was intended or in a foreseeable way, and that the defect in the vehicle caused injuries that resulted in damages.
Costs and losses that may be recovered in a product liability action include the costs of replacement parts or repairs, medical expenses, and loss of income or earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering. Timing is vital in these claims, since the statute of limitations for product liability cases in Tennessee is only one year.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Knoxville Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been hurt in the Knoxville area due to a Nissan vehicle involved in a recall, car accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe has the knowledge and experience to help you pursue a claim. The Hartsoe Law Firm represents people throughout Tennessee with complex vehicle recall cases, from accident investigation and negotiations to litigation if necessary. You can call us at (865) 524-5657 or complete our contact form to set up an initial consultation regarding your situation.