Defective Automobile Seats

The number of vehicle recalls in 2014 (nearly 40 million in the first six months) has undoubtedly increased public awareness on the subject of automotive safety and crashworthiness. One design flaw, however, hasn’t received quite the level of attention as the defective tires, fuel systems, and ignition switches that have resulted in thousands of recalled cars and trucks. We’re talking about defective automobile seats and their components, such as recliner mechanisms, seat tracks, and seatbacks.

Defective auto seats can cause and contribute to serious injuries for drivers and passengers, even in low speed or moderate rear-impact collisions. That’s why it’s important to determine if a weak seat aggravated your injuries after a car accident. The legal team at KWFDM in Atlanta can help.

Weak Auto Seat Injuries

In the event of a collision, seatbelts are designed to prevent vehicle occupants from moving forward, and potentially striking the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield. But if a vehicle’s seats are defective, seatbelts cannot be depended on to minimize the risk of injury. In fact, auto seats are perhaps the most important safety feature in a vehicle, as they serve as the primary buffer and restraint from an impact’s force, especially in rear-impact collisions.

The most common auto seat defect is with the seatback. Too often, defective auto seatbacks break or collapse in a front-end collision. This can cause vehicle occupants to be ejected or thrown into the steering wheel, dashboard, or other parts of the interior, in much the same way vehicle occupants are injured when a seatbelt is defective or not used properly.

In many instances, seatback failures—as well as defects involving recliner mechanisms, fasteners, and seat tracks—stem from inadequate crash testing or poor design. And while numerous automakers have been implicated in defective auto seat cases, most major manufacturers have failed to make design changes that could reduce or even eliminate these dangerous failures.

In the meantime, victims of defective auto seatback design can suffer serious injuries, such as:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Quadriplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury

Auto seat failure can also occur in the absence of a collision, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which may result in a single-vehicle accident or a collision with another motorist.

Contact Us if You’ve Been Injured Because of a Defective Auto Seat

If you or a loved has suffered injuries as the result of a defective auto seat, please contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC in Atlanta today. Call (404) 460-0101 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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