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Automotive Defect Lawsuits

When car companies and parts suppliers design or manufacture defective products, affected consumers can seek to hold those companies accountable in court.

Our automotive litigation attorneys represents plaintiffs across a broad range of cases — from parts recalls to emissions fraud, price fixing scandals and breach of warranties.

What is Automotive Litigation?

Automotive litigation is a type of product liability litigation focused on legal issues stemming from the design, production, and sale of defective automobiles.

How are consumer claims against automotive manufacturers litigated?

Automotive claims are litigated differently depending on the type of misconduct and how widespread its effects are. Anyone who experiences an injury based upon a defective product may be eligible to bring an individual claim against the manufacturer. Oftentimes because products are sold to thousands if not millions of people, these cases can be organized as class action lawsuits to streamline legal proceedings and fully hold the companies accountable.

In a class action, one or several plaintiffs file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group of affected consumers. For example, drivers who were sold Volkswagen vehicles with “defeat devices” that allowed them to circumvent EPA emissions standards for air pollution were certified as a class in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.

What laws govern automotive litigation?
  • The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) are US government regulations that specify how car manufacturers should design and build automobiles so that they help drivers avoid car crashes and protect drivers and passengers in the event of a crash.
  • The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. § 2301) requires companies offering warranties to consumers to fully and clearly disclose the terms and conditions of the warranty. A consumer harmed by the failure of a warrantor to comply with its obligations under a warranty is entitled to sue for damages and equitable relief.
  • State consumer protection laws, which provide consumers with protection from unfair and deceptive acts and practices vary widely, so it is important to be familiar with the laws in your state to determine whether you have a viable claim.
What types of defects in automobiles create liability?

A design defect exists when the design of a product is inherently dangerous or does not function properly. In most states, plaintiffs have the burden of proof to show that the risks of a design outweigh the benefits.

A manufacturing defect arises from errors in production that cause some of the items produced to not meet the manufacturer’s intended design. Oftentimes, manufacturing defects stem from flaws in the production process such as using low-quality materials or relying on improper manufacturing techniques.

Our lawyers have fielded claims related to almost every type of manufacturing defect, including:

  • Airbag defects
  • Accelerator issues
  • Battery drainage
  • Brake malfunctions
  • Door latch failures
  • Electronic system glitches
  • Engine defects
  • Fuel system flaws
  • Light failures
  • Seat issues
  • Seat belt flaws
  • Steering malfunctions
  • Tire defects
  • Vehicle structural issues
  • Window flaws
Contact Emerson Firm

No one should suffer because a manufacturer chose its profits over your safety. If you would like to speak to a professional regarding your rights, please fill out the free case evaluation form and an experienced member of Emerson Firm staff will contact you. Initial consultations are free of charge and do not create a legal relationship.

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