Car, Truck and SUV Auto Defect Accident Lawyers in New Jersey
Having maintained a focus on catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases for several decades, our attorneys at Reiff & Bily always consider vehicle crashworthiness and any relevant crash and research test data as well as OSI’s when investigating a car, truck or SUV accident. We are intensely aware of auto manufacturers’ history of putting profits above driver and passenger safety, and exposing known vehicle safety risks and negligence is an important priority in our practice. Many of our largest financial recoveries have been against the nation’s largest automotive manufacturers where a defective product or component has taken the life of a child, husband or mother or has caused a life-altering catastrophic injury.
If you have been hurt or tragically lost a family member in a roadway accident — whether a rollover resulted in ejection or roof-crush injuries, a crash-related or spontaneous gas tank explosion occurred, or any other circumstances that may involve vehicle safety — please contact us now. We are diligent in screening and investigating our cases, and your consultation to discuss the accident and legal options will be free.
Attorneys With Experience in Vehicle and Parts Defect Cases
Our successful case experience extends across a wide range of auto defects litigation, including claims arising from:
- Unacceptable rollover susceptibility of 15-passenger vans, Ford Explorers and other specific vehicle makes and models
- Vehicle designs that have been insufficiently crash-tested and provide inadequate structural protection against ejection in an accident
- Inadequate structural support to protect against a roof crush with catastrophic consequences — often including life-changing spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries or fatalities
- Automobiles and motorcycles that pose an unacceptable risk of a fuel tank explosion on impact
- Defective airbags, seat belts, door latches, child safety seats and other products
The above are only a few of the areas we can pursue or investigate following an accident believed to have been caused by a vehicle defect. We can now take a more in-depth look at some of the major auto defects to have been discovered over the previous few years.
GM Ignition Switch Defect
The General Motors ignition switch defect resulted in one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. It caused at least 124 deaths and resulted in at least 274 claims for severe injuries. Unfortunately, the defect’s scope was likely entirely preventable. Evidence gathered during the investigation of the defect found that GM had multiple opportunities to address the problem dating back to 2001, but the problem was not corrected and it was allowed to grow.
The defect occurs due to insufficient torque found in defective ignition switches. Bumps or jostles to the keyring can result in a loss of vehicle power. This loss of power can render important systems including airbags and power steering nonfunctional. This defect not only increases the odds of a loss of vehicle control through the loss of power steering but also can exacerbate injuries by deactivating the airbags.
Takata Defective Airbag Inflators
The Takata airbag inflator defect was expanded significantly in May 2016 and is now the largest and most complex recall in U.S. vehicle defect history. Despite the size of the recall, it is fortunate that the death toll has remained relatively low. Nevertheless, at least ten drivers in the United States have sustained fatal injuries due to the airbag defect.
The recall has been expanded multiple times. At first, it was believed that the defect affected only a handful of models and vehicles. However, the recall now affects at least two dozen makes of cars, trucks and other vehicles including:
The problem with these vehicles is a defective airbag inflator that is susceptible to allowing moisture to enter into the inflator housing. This moisture reacts with the ammonium nitrate propellant contained within the inflator. This reaction causes a phase change in the propellant and creates unpredictable ballistic consequences that often causes an airbag to deploy with excessive force and spray metal shrapnel at the driver and vehicle occupants. Prior to the public’s discovery of the defect, one death due to the airbag inflator was initially believed to be a homicide due to the lacerations inflicted to the victim’s neck and face.
Suspect a Serious Vehicle Safety Problem?
If you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit or coping with a catastrophic outcome such as quadriplegia, paraplegia, limb loss or brain damage, it is essential to consult a lawyer with experience handling all types or major auto accident claims. Without a full investigation — typically involving experts in crashworthiness, crash testing, accident reconstruction or other key areas — your opportunity to recover monetary compensation may be lost.
We operate a growing, extremely active New Jersey personal injury law practice that has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims since 1979. If you have any reason to suspect crashworthiness issues with your vehicle — or want passionate, experienced legal representation that leaves no stone unturned after any type of serious accident — please call or e-mail us today.