Auto Defect Claims: Dealerships Can Be Sued

In the last few years, major car makers have issued recalls on millions of vehicles due to defective airbags, unexpected acceleration and a myriad of other problems. When car defects cause injury or death in an automobile accident, it could lead victims or their family members to file a claim. While manufacturers are generally the first ones to be named in a lawsuit, there are other parties that can also be found liable.

In addition to manufacturers, car dealerships could also be found in violation of federal laws. Such is the case with the recent fine imposed on Southern Honda Powersports in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The dealership was selling motorcycles that had been recalled and unrepaired. Federal law prohibits dealerships from selling a recalled vehicle that hasn’t been properly fixed.

An investigation revealed that Southern Honda Powersports had sold 329 motorcycles between 2007 and 2012 without first inspecting or repairing the vehicles. It appears there have been no injuries or deaths involving the bikes. Of course, if injuries or deaths had occurred, the dealership may have been considered liable.

Liable Parties in a Defective Vehicle Claim

Claims stemming from a defective vehicle can be very complicated, especially when more than one party is found to be responsible.

In addition to vehicle manufacturers and dealerships (new and used) potentially being held liable, others may also be named in a lawsuit, including: 

  • parts manufacturers;
  • shippers;
  • automotive supply shops;
  • auto repair shops; and
  • any other company involved in the chain of distribution.

When it comes to determining liability for injuries or deaths caused by a vehicle, a consultation with an auto accident attorney may help. The law firm of Gacovino, Lake & Associates may be able to assist with the filing of a defective vehicle claim.

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