When auto parts are defective or vehicles are unsafe, carmakers should be held accountable for the injuries that result. Toyota, among other manufacturers, has a history of putting profit before consumer safety, allowing vehicles with defects to be sold to drivers without warnings, and failing to recall defective cars despite knowing of their dangers. Injury lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe can assist Knoxville residents and other individuals throughout Tennessee with trying to hold companies responsible for their reckless actions and the harm they cause. If you have been hurt by a faulty Toyota, the Hartsoe Law Firm can help you explore your legal options. Mr. Hartsoe zealously advocates on his clients’ behalf, seeking appropriate compensation for their injuries while they focus on the healing process.Toyota’s Recall History
Toyota Motor Corp. has issued recalls on more than 10 million vehicles in the past year. Concerns ranging from flawed brakes and faulty pedals to engine stalling problems have led to some of the biggest recalls and fines in history. In March 2014, the Department of Justice fined Toyota $1.2 billion for misleading customers regarding unintended acceleration complaints. In addition to these criminal sanctions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied $66.15 million in civil penalties against Toyota for untimely vehicle recalls. These penalties came not long after a $16 million fine in 2010 when the government found that the carmaker had known about sticking gas pedals for months before recalling vehicles. Defects found in its vehicles have been tied to numerous severe injuries as well as wrongful deaths.Bringing a Claim for Compensation After a Crash
Auto manufacturers are required to perform extensive tests on their vehicles before releasing them on the market to ensure the parts and cars are safe for drivers. If you or a family member has been hurt due to a Toyota vehicle or component that has been or ought to have been recalled, you may want to consider filing a product liability claim against one or more entities. Parties that may be liable in these types of actions include manufacturers, distributors, and other vehicle vendors that are responsible for making sure items are safe before releasing them to consumers.
Product liability claims fall into three groups: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failures to warn. Manufacturing defects occur when there is a flaw in the making of a part or vehicle. For instance, Toyota has been accused of manufacturing certain models of its Tacoma trucks with inadequate frames to protect against rust corrosion, making them unsafe to drive. Manufacturers are strictly liable for a vehicle or part with a manufacturing defect that they have placed in the stream of commerce. A consumer only needs to prove that an item was unreasonably dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control to assert the right to compensation for injuries caused by a manufacturing defect.
Design defects are flaws in the fundamental design of a vehicle or component that make it inherently dangerous. To show a design defect and establish liability, a consumer must show that a design was unreasonably dangerous and caused his or her harm, that the danger was apparent by ordinary or foreseeable use of the product, and that the manufacturer failed to use an available alternative consisting of a superior, cost-effective design.
In Tennessee, product liability claims must be filed within one year from the date of an accident. Damages available in these cases may include past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages or earning capacity, property damage, and any other costs arising from the harm. Product liability cases can be complex and require thorough investigation as well as extensive evidence, and an attorney can help you through this process.Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in the Knoxville Area
Flaws in the design or manufacture of a vehicle or its parts can lead to serious harm. When this happens, injured individuals in the Knoxville area can contact car accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe to discuss the possible steps they can take. Mr. Hartsoe has significant experience pursuing these claims and protecting the interests of victims of defective products. We can assist injured consumers with evidence collection, investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, and determining what parties may be at fault. To schedule an initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657, or contact us online.