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Auto Defects and Vehicle Recall Lawsuit

California Auto Defect LawyersWhen you purchase a vehicle, you have no choice but to trust that it was designed and manufactured in a safe, responsible way, but sadly, you may ultimately need the help of Los Angeles product liability lawyers when that turns out not to be the case. At Ellis Law, we know first-hand the personal devastation that can occur when auto defects or recalled vehicles cause physical harm or even death.

If you have suffered as a result of an improperly designed or produced car or truck, you owe it to yourself to seek experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel to help secure the compensation you deserve.

Auto defects, vehicle recalls and the dangers they reveal

According to recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, over 10 million vehicles were subject to a manufacturer recall in 2013 alone, the highest number since 2009. Reasons cited for these high numbers include a boom in the introduction of new models, growing prevalence of more complicated automotive technology and an increase in regulatory monitoring of potential safety concerns.

Regardless of the motivation, these recalls suggest that the danger to consumers of defectively designed or manufactured vehicle components is very real, and that car makers are by no means infallible when it comes to the products they bring to market.

The fact is that thousands of individuals are injured or killed each year by a wide range of automotive defects and circumstances that include:

  • Door latch failure
  • Seat belt problems
  • Rollover/stability issues
  • Roof crush incidents
  • Faulty fuel systems
  • Sudden acceleration
  • Heater core defects
  • Car fires
  • Brake failure

Noteworthy recent auto defect and recall cases

The dangers posed to the public at large by defectively designed or manufactured vehicle components have been underscored in recent years by several widely-publicized cases. Perhaps the most significant of these has been that of Toyota’s entanglement in a maze of litigation related to the unintended acceleration of some of its vehicles. Linked to multiple deaths as well as a sizable number of serious injuries, these incidents have proved to be extraordinarily costly to the automaker, which has been held liable for its negligence in several distinct areas.

In 2012, Toyota reached a $1 billion settlement with car owners who argued that their vehicles dropped dramatically in value due to the recalls that followed allegations of unintended acceleration. The company is currently closing in on a deal with the Justice Department to resolve its criminal investigation of the manufacturer’s failure to disclose initial complaints about the acceleration problems. Most importantly, Toyota is also finalizing settlements on hundreds of federal and state personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits stemming from the same alleged defects.

In recent days, attention has turned to the General Motors recall of over 1.6 million vehicles due to complaints by owners that their cars suddenly stalled, often at highway speed. The alleged ignition switch defect has been linked to 13 deaths, and has prompted the launch of several investigations, including a just-announced Congressional inquiry into the company’s slow response to mounting complaints about the issue.

Those injured by auto defects such as those at the center of this latest controversy need the assistance of lawyers who are well-versed in this type of litigation. At Ellis Law, we have over 20 years of experience helping victims of auto defects fight for the financial recovery they need in order to move forward in their lives.

Complexity of automotive defect cases

There can be no doubt about the fact that a product liability lawsuit stemming from an alleged auto defect or recall is an extremely complicated proposition. The evidentiary requirements for establishing liability in such a case are substantial, and expert testimony from engineering and medical professionals alike is essential. Fortunately, we at Ellis Law have an extensive network of investigators, support staff and experts who stand ready to work collaboratively to build the most persuasive arguments possible on behalf of each and every client we serve.

In order to prevail in an automotive defect case, it will be necessary for you to prove that you suffered injuries or other sorts of losses due to the use of the vehicle in question, that the vehicle at issue was defectively designed or manufactured and that the alleged defect was the actual case of the injuries sustained.

To successfully meet this burden, one of several theories of liability may be utilized, including:

  • Strict products liability, in which all that needs to be demonstrated is the defect itself and its direct connection to your injuries;
  • Breach of express warranty, whereby the alleged defect is found to be a breach of an existing written guarantee from the manufacturer; or
  • Breach of implied warranty, whereby the minimum standards of quality or suitability for intended use are found to have been violated by virtue of the alleged defect

Because establishing liability can be an extremely challenging prospect, particularly when facing the high-powered legal teams that represent automakers and parts manufacturers, it is absolutely vital for injury victims to obtain legal counsel knowledgeable in all aspects of product liability lawsuits, including evidence gathering, settlement negotiations and, when necessary, trial tactics. The attorneys of Ellis Law have gained a reputation for being tireless advocates for their clients and achieving consistently impressive outcomes.

How Ellis Law product liability lawyers can help

Anyone who has had the misfortune of suffering a serious injury due to an automotive defect knows the fear, frustration and uncertainty that can result. The only possible silver lining in such situations is the fact that the law does provide the opportunity to pursue full and fair compensation for the harm done.

Potential recovery in products liability cases can include payment for:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Costs of rehabilitation and accessibility modifications
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering

If a defectively designed or manufactured vehicle or vehicle component has caused serious harm to you or a loved one, help is available. The attorneys at Ellis Law invite you to contact us at 1-800-INJURED to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. With personalized, compassionate service as our overriding goal, we pledge to assess the facts of your case, advise you of potential avenues of recourse and provide you with the insights necessary to make informed decisions about your future.

  1. New York Times, Auto Regulators Dismissed Defect Tied to 13 Deaths, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/business/auto-regulators-dismissed-defect-tied-to-13-deaths.html 
  2. Automotive News, Automakers see recalls rise as complexity of new models grows, http://www.autonews.com/article/20140305/OEM11/140309913/automakers-see-recalls-rise-as-complexity-of-new-models-grows# 
  3. Huffington Post, Toyota Settlement the Largest in U.S. History Involving Automobile Defects, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/26/toyota-settlement_n_2366720.html 
  4. New York Times, Toyota in Talks on Final Settlements Over Car Recalls, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/business/toyota-in-talks-on-final-settlements-over-car-recalls.html