Seatback Failure: What you need to know
Auto manufacturers are required to design and test vehicles and their component parts to make sure that they are “crashworthy.” It is known that vehicles will crash, and responsible automakers must anticipate certain crash conditions and make sure that their vehicles are safe when they crash.
People are often killed or catastrophically injured when they are in a car wreck and their seat fails. We have helped people who have been paralyzed or even nearly cut in half by a seatbelt when her seat failed.
The seat is a vehicle component that plays a critical role for crash safety. The seat is designed not only to provide a comfortable place for vehicle occupants to sit, but also to protect occupants and help keep them in their pre-crash position to maintain maximum safety during a crash. This is particularly true for rear-impact crashes in which seats are designed to stay upright and keep passengers from flying backwards into the back of the vehicle (much like a seatbelt keeps people from flying forward during frontal-impact crashes).
Unfortunately, government safety standards are outdated and represent only the absolute minimum standards a vehicle seat manufacturer must meet. In cases we have worked on, our experts have demonstrated that aluminum folding lawn chairs and cardboard boxes can pass the testing required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Seat back failure during crashes can result in death or paralysis. Whenever a seat or headrest fails, the collision should be investigated by experienced product liability lawyers to see if the seat manufacturer bears fault for the death or injuries. We are passionate advocates for victims of vehicle defects!
At Gallagher & Kennedy, our product liability attorneys have successfully handled numerous cases and recovered millions of dollars for clients in claims involving seat or headrest failure. Contact us at 602.530.8400 if you would like a free consultation on a potential auto product liability case.