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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Defective Steering Can Lead to Major Auto Accidents and Injuries

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on June 15, 2014

An auto accident victim makes an emergency callThe legal team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau will not be intimidated by big business or parties of influence. It's our duty to assist accident victims in and around Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, which is why our lawyers always fight diligently, no matter what. Our auto accident attorneys will fight for you to help ensure that you receive just compensation for injuries and other kinds of losses.

Auto accidents that are the result of part defects and mechanical failure are particularly tragic since these kinds of problems can usually be avoided. We would like to focus on auto accidents that are the result of steering defects and what our legal team can do in these situations.

The Complexity of Modern Steering Systems

When it comes to automotive steering systems, most drivers and passengers only consider the steering wheel. The fact is, steering systems in automobiles are incredibly complex, especially now that power steering systems are the norm. There are lines, hoses, rods, knuckles, fluid, and pumps to consider in these systems, and they can all be affected by a number of factors.

Causes of Defective Steering and Steering Problems

Some common reasons for steering problems and steering defects include:

  • Problems with fluid pumps
  • Lack of fluid
  • Defects in hydraulic lines
  • Loose hoses
  • Leaking fluid
  • Problems with relay rods
  • Issues with steering knuckles
  • Poorly secured steering components
  • Manufacturing/design defects

Warning Signs of Steering Defects

While some steering problems may happen suddenly, there are some warning signs that you can look out for while you are driving or are a passenger in a vehicle. These include:

  • Extra effort needed to turn the steering wheel
  • Screeching sounds when turning the steering wheel
  • Steering wheel bumps or rumbles excessively
  • Noticeable drift of vehicle to one side
  • Vehicle bounces for a long time after driving over a bump

Should you notice any of the above or a combination of the above issues, be sure to have your vehicle professionally checked and maintenanced as soon as possible.

What Auto Manufacturers Should Do

Auto makers should always design vehicles that are safe outwardly and inwardly, which means using steering systems that do not fail or that are not innately flawed in some fashion. Should these auto makers discover a flaw of design, they should alert motorists as soon as possible by issuing a recall. Failure to do so is a sign of negligence and could be grounds for a product liability claim.

A Look at a Recent Steering Defect Lawsuit

In a recent case against Hyundai in the state of Montana, a jury found that the auto maker had designed a defective steering system in their Tiburon. An issue with the steering knuckle (i.e., the part that connects the steering wheel to the rest of the vehicle) led to a fatal head-on auto accident in 2005. The jury ordered Hyundai to pay more than $240 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

While Hyundai is appealing this decision, it shows how skilled attorneys can seek justice in any sort of defective product case. We at Chanfrau & Chanfrau will be here for you to offer expert counsel and sound legal advice.

Learn More About Auto Accidents and Legal Matters

If you would like to learn more about auto accidents that are the result of part malfunctions or defects in design, it's important that you contact our personal injury attorneys today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you receive just compensation following a major motor vehicle crash.

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