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John D.

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      What Makes a Car Part Defective?

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      Defective Car Parts: How to Identify Them and What to Do About It

      Driving off in a new — or new-to-you — car is a great feeling, but what happens when you start to hear weird noises or it breaks down? Vehicle maintenance and repairs are part of owning a car, but if your car is defective, you could find yourself spending more time, energy, and money on car parts than you should. Not sure if your vehicle is defective? Learn how to identify defective car parts, which parts are commonly affected, and what to do if you think you’ve bought a lemon.

      Identifying Defective Car Parts

      Usually, the first clue that you have a defective car part is that part breaking or something not working with your vehicle. For example, if the locking mechanism on a passenger side door is defective, you may notice that the door no longer opens from the inside. However, it is possible to identify defective car parts before they cause an issue.

      When you have routine maintenance done on your car, the technician should look at all the visible components of the car to ensure they are still in good condition and aren’t showing any signs of wear, such as cracks or corrosion. These are early signs that a part is wearing down or not functioning properly.

      You may also be able to identify defective car parts by listening for odd noises while you’re driving. Sounds such as rattling, knocking, or squealing can indicate that there is an issue with a component that needs to be addressed. You may also notice differences in the feel of the car, such as vibrations, difficulty turning the steering wheel, or rough gear transitions.

      A reputable dealer can use diagnostic tools and techniques to identify defective car parts, and they will also have information on any recalls that the auto manufacturers may have issued for known issues.

      Common Defective Car Parts

      Any part of a car can be defective, but issues may be more common in certain areas of the vehicle. While some defective car parts may be minor issues that aren’t a safety hazard — but should still be fixed — others can be serious dangers.

      • Brakes: If any of the components of the braking system in your vehicle are defective, there’s a chance that you could find yourself without brakes entirely, which could be disastrous if you are on the road.
      • Tires: Your tires are the point of contact between the road and your vehicle, which means they need to be functioning properly. A defective batch of tires could cause blowouts leading to serious accidents and injury.
      • Transmission components: Transmissions are one of the most expensive parts of a vehicle to replace. Issues with your transmission could manifest as random accelerations or decelerations.
      • Electrical components: Today’s modern vehicles often have a lot of extra features that rely on electrical components. But the more bells and whistles a car has, the more potential things there are to go wrong.
      • Seat belts: The seat belt is designed to keep you safely in the car in the event of a crash, and a defective seat belt can be fatal.
      • Computer systems: Modern cars may have several computer chips throughout the vehicle controlling various systems. If one of these malfunctions, it can lead to loss of vehicle control or certain features not working.

      There are hundreds of different parts on a car, and any one of these has the potential to be defective. If you believe that your car may qualify as a lemon or were injured in an accident due to a defective car part, speak to an attorney.

      The Danger of Defective Car Parts

      Driving a car with a defective part is dangerous and can affect your safety and everyone else’s who is on the road with you. If a part breaks while you’re driving, it could mean that you’re stranded by the side of the road while you wait for help to arrive — and that’s in the best of circumstances. In the worst, a defective car part could cause your car to break down while driving, which can cause an accident that could potentially injure or kill you, your other passengers, another driver, or even a pedestrian nearby. Depending on the part that is defective, it could also present a fire hazard for your vehicle or be leaking fluids that could have an environmental impact.

      Dealing with a car that constantly has issues or defective parts can also impact your quality of life. It can lead you to be more anxious about driving around town and may mean that you’re unable to drive long distances, such as to see family or friends, at all. Repeated car repairs can also impact your finances. Even if the parts are covered by a recall or warranty, you may have to take time off of work to get your car serviced.

      Representing Those Affected by Defective Car Parts

      It’s common for auto manufacturers to have to issue recalls for defective car parts from time to time, and no part lasts forever. But if you’re dealing with constant issues with your car, you could be able to find some relief under California’s Lemon Law. At the Ibrahim Law Firm, APC, we help clients understand their rights when it comes to taking action against dealerships who sell these cars. Call our office at 626-600-0890 to speak with a member of our team. We can help you schedule your first appointment where we’ll discuss your situation, let you know how and if the Lemon Law applies, and help you take your next steps.

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