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NYC Auto Accident Lawyers / Blog / Personal Injury / Deadliest Auto Defects

Deadliest Auto Defects


Passenger vehicles and light trucks weigh thousands of pounds. A collision with such a vehicle can cause major injuries and fatalities. But even if a driver is operating a vehicle properly, accidents can still occur due to auto defects.

Auto defects can cause vehicles to behave in erratic ways, causing accidents. Sometimes these accidents are deadly. Here are some of the most dangerous auto defects.

Unintended Acceleration

Back in 2000, many Toyota vehicles had a defect that was causing them to spontaneously accelerate. This scared many drivers, as they were unable to stop or even slow down. This went on for about a decade. Toyota received numerous complaints of accidents and deaths until it finally recalled 5.2 million of their vehicles, blaming the floor mats. A year later, another 2.3 million vehicles were recalled, with sticky floor pedals as the cause. However, the unintended acceleration kept persisting, with Toyota forced to recall another 1.8 million vehicles. The defect was finally under control, but 89 people were killed.

Faulty Ignition Switches

While sudden acceleration on a freeway can be scary, so can having your car suddenly shut off at high speeds, leaving you with no brakes, power steering, or airbags. This is what happened to many General Motors owners due to a defective ignition switch.

Between 2003 and 2011 General Motors installed defective ignition switches in millions of their vehicles. In total, 303 people died and many more suffered serious injuries. Approximately 2.6 million GM vehicles were recalled.

Tire Blowouts

In the early 1990s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received more than 3,500 reports about defective Firestone tires that experienced tread separation and sudden blowouts. Firestone, however, tried to blame Ford, since the tires in question were being installed on Ford Explorers and similar vehicles.

Each company blamed the other. In 2000, Firestone finally recalled 14.4 million of their faulty tires in the United States. By then, there were 271 deaths and more than 700 injuries caused by these tires.

Exploding Gas Tanks 

Gas tank defects can also be scary situations, as they can cause deadly fires. This happened to  Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokees. The manufacturer, Fiat, knew that the gas tanks were not properly protected. However, they kept this error under wraps to save money on recalls. Even after a 4-year-old boy burned to death while inside a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat refused to admit to the defect. In 2015, Fiat was ordered to pay the boy’s family $150 million. In total, there were 478 deaths resulting from the exploding gas tanks.

Contact Us Today 

Automobiles are made of thousands of parts. Any of these parts can be defective, causing serious accidents.

If a manufacturer’s part caused your vehicle to suffer a defect, you may be able to file a legal claim. Contact Cohan Law Firm today. Our New York automotive defects lawyers will hold the responsible parties liable for your damages. To schedule a free consultation, call (855) 855-0321 or (212) 601-2693.



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