The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 13,000 lives are saved by seatbelts every year in the United States. These necessary and useful safety devices greatly decrease the chances of a serious injury or fatality in the event of a car accident. There are cases, however, where seatbelts fail to work properly and put vehicle occupants at great risk for injury or death. There are many ways in which a seatbelt can be defective and there are a number of options available for victims who have suffered injuries as a result of defective seatbelts.
Seatbelts can be defective when they are improperly designed, have a manufacturing or assembly error, or when the warning labels are inadequate. When seat restraint systems or seatbelts fail, victims are in danger of suffering life-threatening injuries or even fatalities as a result of blunt force trauma or ejection from the vehicle.
There are a number of defective seatbelts that have been recalled because of the dangers they present to drivers and passengers. Recent recalls include:
- Honda Pilot models from 2009 to 2011 that have incomplete or missing anchor webbing;
- GM crossover utility vehicles including Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook that have buckle mechanisms that jam;
- Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks that do not tighten properly on child seats;
- Kia vehicles that fail to engage properly when used with child seats;
- Lexus vehicles with defective winding devices; and
- Ford Escapes from 2001 that have issues with latching.
Victims of New Jersey defective seatbelt injuries can file an auto products liability claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective seatbelt to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. The skilled New Jersey auto product liability lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein can help you and your family hold the negligent manufacturer responsible and assist you in obtaining compensation to cover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and cost of hospitalization and treatment. Please contact us at (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.