Consumers may unwittingly be driving a vehicle with a defect whenever they rent a car while on a business trip or vacation. By law, a car dealer cannot sell you a vehicle which is under a safety recall, however it is apparently permitted to rent that same defective car to an unsuspecting consumer. A bill known as the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2013, which addresses this specific issue was reintroduced and referred to committee on April 30, 2015. This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on April 30, 2015, which will consider it before potentially sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. The two people the bill was named after were killed in 2004 while driving a recalled rental car, which had been issued for a power steering hose that risked catching fire. The hose did, in fact, catch fire in the rental car the sisters were driving, causing them to collide head-on into a truck, tragically killing them both.
The mother of the Houck girls is pushing for rental car businesses to be held to the same standards as used car dealers, meaning they would be prohibited from renting recalled cars. The cruise control on vehicles has also been the subject of a fair number of recalls. While on a road trip, one family experienced their car accelerating on its own due to a “stuck” cruise control. The car reached over 90 mph with the driver unable to disengage the cruise control before the car crashed and rolled over, leaving the occupants with brain damage, spinal fractures and paraplegia.
Could Your Car Have Defects You are Unaware Of?
While the modern anti-lock braking systems (ABS) make the chances of a car’s brakes suffering complete failure unlikely, research has shown that automobiles with ABS are more likely to be involved in a fatal rollover crash. Manufacturing defects of the brake’s rotors, drums or pads can be responsible for brakes which fail to work as intended, causing grave accidents. Heavier vehicles, such as commercial trucks have been found to have unattached hydraulic lines in the braking system; obviously an 80,000 pound truck without properly working brakes can be a serious hazard on the roadways.
In the same vein, while tires are considerably safer today than those manufactured three decades ago, there can nonetheless be design defects in today’s tires which lead to tread separation and subsequent car collisions. Seatbelts and airbags were designed to protect those inside the vehicle in the event of a crash, however these safety features may fail to work as expected when a collision occurs. The airbags may deploy or, rather, deploy in the absence of a collision, while seat belts can fail at a crucial moment, allowing the passenger to fly forward and striking the car’s windshield. In some cases, gas tanks can explode unexpectedly from a minor bump. Moreover, roof crush can occur during a rollover accident, leaving the passengers with serious or fatal injuries.
Are Car Manufacturers Looking Out For Your Safety?
Unfortunately, there have also been instances in which huge automobile manufacturers have suppressed evidence of known defects in automobiles, resulting in preventable injuries to consumers. Defective auto products are generally governed under strict product liability laws. This means victims of auto defects are not obligated to show negligence, only that the defect was a danger and caused a specific harm. In addition to compensatory damages which cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, victims of auto accidents due to defective parts can also be entitled to punitive damages, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!
If you or a loved one has been in any type of accident involving negligence, contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. For over 39 years, our firm has assisted thousands of injured clients across Georgia. Our compassionate law firm offers you a free case review to explain your legal rights and the actions necessary to obtain compensation.
No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
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