Freightliner Recall Highlights Dangers of Defective Trucks
Our truck accident attorneys reveal what you should know
This fall, truck manufacturer Daimler Trucks North America announced a recall of over 100,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks, citing problems with the drag link taper joint. According to the manufacturer’s statement, there’s a risk that the drag link, an essential component in the truck’s steering system, could become completely separated from the steering arm. Such a malfunction would potentially cause a complete loss of steering, a truly terrifying possibility if it happens while the truck is hurtling down a highway.
This is hardly the first major safety recall involving tractor-trailers. Indeed, just last year, Daimler recalled over 167,000 Freightliner Cascadias over potential issues with the brakes. And these recalls highlight an essential principle: truck manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their trucks.
Truck manufacturers can be held legally liable when they don’t put safety first
Any manufacturer is responsible for the safety of the products they create, and the more dangerous the product, the more costly such a mistake could be. Truck manufacturers, then, are held to a high standard because the vehicles they produce have the potential to cause severe injuries and damage.
Under product liability law, any manufacturer, including a truck manufacturer, can be held liable if one of the following leads to an injury:
- Design defect: an error in the product’s design or engineering made it dangerous, or prone to a dangerous malfunction.
- Manufacturing defect: the product was manufactured with poor materials or shoddy practices that caused it to become dangerous.
- Failure to warn: the manufacturer was aware of or should have been aware of a hazard involving their product and failed to appropriately warn the user.
For example, if a truck accident occurs due to a manufacturing defect in a truck’s brakes or steering system, the manufacturer of the truck could potentially be held liable for injuries sustained in the crash.
An experienced truck accident lawyer can negotiate these complex situations
Most truck accidents are caused by operator error. When a crash involves a mechanical failure, however, the legal implications can be complex. It’s not always clear whether the underlying issue was a problem with the vehicle itself or a result of poor maintenance. Moreover, when failure to warn is part of the cause, which party was responsible for issuing or passing along the warning can be disputed. Often, responsibility for the accident does not fall on a single party, but rather is shared between a negligent operator, manufacturer, and potentially other at-fault parties as well.
That’s one of the reasons a thorough investigation is important in any trucking accident case. An attorney with experience in trucking litigation can secure critical evidence, get to the bottom of what happened, and determine which party or parties was responsible for your injuries. Often, this can make a dramatic difference in your recovery and quality of life. A thorough investigation also has the best chance of providing true accountability for the crash and everyone who contributed to it.
Pajcic & Pajcic is well-equipped to handle these types of cases due to our extensive experience with both trucking litigation and product liability litigation. We have secured numerous significant results for people injured by negligent vehicle manufacturers, including an $11 million recovery for a catastrophic rear-end accident that included a significant recovery from a vehicle manufacturer. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, we would be honored to listen to your story and explain your legal options. Contact Pajcic & Pajcic today for a free, confidential consultation.