A lot of
car accidents are caused by driver negligence. A driver might be talking on their cell
phone, turn without looking, run a red light or a number of other behaviors
that fall below the reasonable duty of care that they owe to other drivers.
However, there are some car accidents that occur as a result of the car
itself. More specifically as a result of a
defective auto component installed in the vehicle.
A manufacturer also has a duty to make a vehicle that is safe to driver.
Right now, safety regulators are trying to determine whether or not that
duty could have been breached by the major car manufacturer, General Motors
(GM). Specifically, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) is investigating complaints that break lights installed in several
midsize cars are not functioning properly -- something that could cause
According to 97 complaints, the break lights in Malibu and Aura vehicles
would turn on without the direction of the driver and fail to work in
other instances. A car accident scenario is not hard to imagine. Think
about driving down the highway, break lights are relied on every day as
a signal to other drivers. When they fail to work, it may cause a rear-end
accident. When they turn on unnecessarily, it could cause a nearby driver
to react without thinking and possibly lose control of the vehicle.
This is not a new issue for GM. Pontiac G6 vehicles from the 2005 model
year were recalled in 2009 after it was determined that the break lights
had failed to work. There were 8,000 autos affected by that
recall, and in February another 550,000 were added to the investigation list.
It is not clear whether those were officially recalled.
The decision has not yet been made as to whether the 1.5 million Malibus
and Auras manufactured between 2004 and 2011 and sold by GM will be recalled.
Source: USA Today, "Feds may add 1 million cars to GM recall," March 12, 2013