Who Is Liable In A Defective or Recalled Car Accident? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Who Is Liable In A Defective or Recalled Car Accident?


It might seem as though each day brings with it another news story about one of the major car makers or parts manufacturer announcing a recall because of a defect. All of the media attention to car defects and recalls might lead you to believe roads in Ontario and throughout Canada are safer because of them, but it turns out that one out of every six cars on the road has a defect that has been the subject of a recall. When a defect causes an accident, an injured victim could have a claim against the manufacturer of the defective car and part.

How safety recalls work in Canada

When a safety issue is identified in a car causing it to be recalled for repairs, it is up to the manufacturer to notify owners. In many instances, according to news reports, people are not receiving the notices or are ignoring them instead of going through the hassle of bringing the car to a dealer and being without a vehicle while the repairs are made.

Buying a new car from a dealer does not ensure it will not have a defect. A car that was recalled can be sold without any requirement to repair it before turning it over to the buyer. Neither Ontario nor any of the other provinces have laws prohibiting the sale and registration of cars with open recalls prior to repairs being made.

You can check if your car is the subject of an open recall through the Transport Canada website. Simply type in the make, model and year of your car to see any open recalls and the reasons for them.

Defective car claims

Suing a manufacturer for injuries caused by a defective part or a defective car can be based on any of three of the following three defects:

  • Defective design
  • Manufacturing defect
  • Failure to warn

The manufacturer, distributor or wholesaler, and the seller of a car with a defect could be held liable if it causes injury to the owner, occupants or others. Design defects exist prior to the product being manufactured. A flaw in the design of a car or a part used in it might make the vehicle inherently unsafe and dangerous. For example, an airbag that inflates in a collision with such force as to cause injuries to vehicle occupants would be a design defect.

A manufacturing defect occurs during the production process. If the airbag from the previous example causes injuries because it was improperly installed in a car, this would be a manufacturing defect. Failure to warn defects occur when the product is otherwise safe, but instructions or safety warnings delivered with the product are inadequate or incorrect. For instance, failing to add a label onto an airbag warning about the danger of it exploding if removed incorrectly from the vehicle is a failure to warn.

Holding the someone responsible when defective cars cause accidents

If there is evidence proving the cause of an accident was a defect in a car, the manufacturers of the vehicle and the defective part could be held responsible. The key to success in a lawsuit against a manufacturer is having the evidence to link the accident with the defect.

Ignoring a recall notice and continuing to drive the defective car could affect your ability to hold the manufacturer responsible. A personal injury lawyer would be your best source of legal advice about liability and the particular facts of your accident.

Speak to a personal injury lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident involving a car that was recalled, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Let the personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamondreview the facts and circumstances of your accident to determine if the car maker or others might be liable for causing you to be injured. Contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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