The below list, while not complete should give you a good idea of different harmful potential car defect and recalls you might come across. Recent car defect and recalls have included, ignition switches, airbags, and tires. These parts of your cars can all be checked, but you should also look out for these areas of your vehicle:
- False park- Similar to the “slipping” problem of faulty ignition switches, when a car has this issue it may start rolling again after you put it in park and get out. In theory this is an issue that’s been resolved, but it’s also one that appeared in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, and then again in the ‘90s, so there’s every chance we may see it again.
- Side impact design– Automobile bodies and frames should be built to a reasonable standard to protect you in the event of a crash. If your car crumples when the side is hit at a relatively low speed, you probably have a good case that the side impact design was not up to par.
- Gas tanks– One of the most dangerous parts of any car is the gas tank, because if it becomes severely damaged in an impact, the car can actually explode. This is exactly what happened with Ford Pintos because there was a design flaw that left the gas tank unprotected. Otherwise survivable accidents can result in serious burns and death when fuel tanks rupture or fuel lines leak. Indeed, on September 7, 2005, Ford recalled 3.8 million pickup trucks and SUVS due to engine fires.
- Roofs– Many pickups and other types of vehicles are subject to roof crush in a rollover accident. While the auto industry has long been aware of devastating head and neck injuries caused by roof collapse, they have failed to redesign vehicles to provide greater protection for passengers. Despite the fact that car manufacturers have known that the roofs on many of their vehicles weren’t strong enough to avoid being smashed in and crushing passengers in the event of a rollover as far back as the ‘60s, it took until 2012 for the NHTSA to finally demand stronger roofs across the board. This means that many people out there – especially those in trucks, vans, and SUVs – run the risk of having this problem.
- Seat belts– A safety engineer once said that a number of car seats are “probably among the most egregious, widespread safety defects to be found.” Today’s seats are stronger and safer than ever before, but defects – and accidents – still happen, such as when a man’s seat snapped back in an accident and crushed his 5-year-old daughter.
- Door latches– In the past, Ford and other companies have had issues with improperly designed door latches that accidentally opened sometimes during crashes. It would be nice to believe that this is an issue that won’t pop up again, but already it’s something that occurred both in the ‘70s and ‘80s and then again in the late ‘90s. When a car door comes open during an accident due to latch failure, passengers can be ejected causing serious injuries or death.