When is the Auto Manufacturer at Fault for an Auto Accident?
When buying a car, we entrust that the car manufacturer has done its job of making sure that what we’re buying from them is safe to ride on. This is because car manufacturers are required to pass rigorous tests for their models to ensure the safety of the car driver and passengers.
In the state of Michigan, an act was passed to protect its citizens and make sure that vehicles comply with the state’s set of standards. This act is called the Michigan Vehicle Code (1949 PA 300). Apart from this, the manufacturers are also required to submit a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) to the dealer whenever they ship a car to them. This certificate contains the following information:
- Manufacturer’s Name
- Vehicle Name
- Body Style
- Vehicle ID number
Car Crash Statistics in Michigan
According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts website, there were 312,798 crashes in 2018 for the entire state. 905 of these crashes resulted in fatalities while 55,340 resulted in injuries. Their report also noted that there were 534,223 motor vehicles involved in the crashes last year.
Some of the reasons for the crash that were pointed out in the report were alcohol and drugs. However, a car accident may sometimes be due to a fault in the unit. If you think you or your loved one suffered a car accident because of a faulty car, then it’s best to hire an experienced car accident lawyer in Michigan.
Michigan’s Laws to Protect Drivers and Passengers
Federal laws have been put in place in order to protect the rights of drivers and passengers and ensure their safety.
Michigan seat belt laws are among the most helpful legislation to ensure the safety of everyone inside the car. These laws apply to the driver as well as front seat passengers who are 16 years or older. There are also child restraint laws which require children who are riding in cars to use approved restraint devices such as booster seats, car seats, or seat belts that fit their age, height, and weight.
When it comes to defects, a law that stands out is aptly called the Michigan Lemon Law. Anyone who has a privately owned passenger vehicle, and those leased after January 1, 2000 who uses it for personal, household or family purposes is covered by the Michigan Lemon Law. If it is proven that the vehicle you purchased is defective, you are entitled to a replacement of the car or to a refund equivalent to the cost of the lease. The Lemon Law defines a defective vehicle as:
- A vehicle that has the same problem that has not been repaired in four attempts
- A vehicle that is out of service for 30 days or more because of repairs.
Under the Michigan Law, to secure a replacement or refund, you need to file a written report of the defect to the manufacturer, and you may also be required first to arbitrate the complaint.
General Types of Defects
When it comes to vehicle defects, there are three general types:
- Design Defect: The actual design of the product is flawed and becomes unsafe for its intended use. This basically means that the product was poorly designed.
- Manufacturing Defect: The design may be safe, but the vehicle is still rendered unsafe because of substandard manufacturing. Sometimes, not all of the products will be dangerous, just those that underwent a problem in manufacturing.
- Warning and/or Label Defects: The design and the manufacturing of the vehicle passed the required standards and are proven safe for use. However, the manufacturer was not able to warn consumers about the intrinsic dangers of the vehicle when it is being used. If there are no proper warning, labels, or clear instructions that can help the consumer avoid possible injuries, then the manufacturer can be held liable.
Types of Vehicle Defects
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration identified two types of vehicle defects:
- Safety-related: These are defects that may pose a risk to vehicle safety and may appear in a group of vehicles having the same design or manufacture. The defect may also appear in items of equipment of the same type or manufacture.
- Non-Safety-Related: This includes the air conditioners that are not working, radios that do not work correctly, excessive oil consumption, quality of the vehicle’s paint job, etc.
The following have been identified as safety-related defects:
- Cracking or breaking wheels that may result in loss of vehicle control
- Windshield wiper components that do not properly operate
- Seats and/or back seats that fail to function properly during normal use
- Problems in the wiring system that may cause a fire or loss of lighting.
- Airbags that perform unwarranted deployment.
Contact a Michigan Car Accident Attorney Immediately
These are just some of the types of safety-related defects that can happen to anyone. If you believe that your car accident was due to a car manufacturer’s fault, do not hesitate to reach out to a car accident lawyer in Michigan. If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer that has a proven track record then consider The Clark Law Office. You may fill out our contact form or call us (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation.