Motor Vehicle Defects

Motor Vehicle Defects

The National Traffic and Motor Safety Act was passed in 1966. This act gives the government power to issue vehicle safety standards. Car manufacturers must recall vehicles that do not meet federal safety standards. Since 1966, more than 390 million vehicles have been recalled due to defects. Additionally, there have been other safety recalls:
  • 42 million child safety seats
  • 66 million motor vehicle pieces
  • 46 million tires


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

These are minimum performance requirements for parts that impact a vehicle’s safe operation. These standards apply to all vehicles and related equipment. This includes things such as:

  • lighting
  • tires
  • breaks
  • safety belts
  • air bags
  • energy absorbing steering columns
  • child restraints and safety seats

The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety defines a defect as a problem that poses a risk to motor vehicle safety. Safety related defects can include issues such as:

  • Steering parts that cause loss of vehicle control.
  • Accelerator controls that stick or break.
  • Problems with fuel systems and their damage susceptibility causing leakage and fires.


Product Liability

Are you injured from a car accident and suspect that it was due to a vehicle defect? You may have a product liability claim. You could receive compensation for cost of repairs, medical bills, or lost wages. There are other categories, like pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages. These claims are complex and difficult to prove. So you will need to enlist the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.


Call our office today for a FREE review of your case. We typically work on a contingent agreement basis, which means our fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case.


Don’t Delay! You may have a valid claim! Let us help you get your compensation before the statute of limitations expires!

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Call The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!

Every year, there are recalls for thousands of trucks, cars, and SUV’s due to defects or flaws. Sometimes these faulty vehicles put consumers at risk for serious injury. Motor vehicle defect cases usually involve one of two types of product liability.

The first type relates to manufacturing defects of vehicles or their parts. A manufacturing defect is a malformed or damaged aspect of a car that would comprise its safety. Manufacturing defects occur during the distribution chain of a vehicle. Specifically, this refers to the manufacturing, shipping, or dealership companies. In fact, any or all these entities are liable for injuries and damage.

The second form of product liability claim involves design flaws of a vehicle. Design flaws are errors in a vehicle design or its parts. In fact, they make it more likely to have dangerous accidents or cause injuries. You might recall that SUVs were the subject of many lawsuits during the 1990s. This was because they were top heavy and prone to roll over during accidents.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess will help you to meet the burden of proof. You need this to win your product liability claim. In brief, you will need to prove that:
  • you suffered damages or losses or injuries
  • the vehicle or part is defective
  • the defect caused your injury

Reporting Defects

If you think your vehicle may have a defect, you can report it.  You can call the NHTSA by calling their safety hotline (1-888-327-4236). heir website is  If you wish to contact them by mail, send your letter to :

U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

Information you provide is catalogued on the website,  This database gets updated each week.  It helps the NHTSA and manufacturers determine if there should be a recall .

If you have suffered injuries or the loss of a loved one due to motor vehicle defects, we can help!  Call The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!

Motor Vehicle Defects Can Cause Serious Accidents.

If you’ve been injured by a defective car part you need an attorney. Don’t Delay, Call Clay!

Lemon Laws

The Attorney General in Louisiana defines a “new vehicle with a severe defect that impairs its use or value” as a lemon. Vehicles are considered lemons if they have undergone 4 attempts of repair within 1 year of delivery date. Or during the warranty period. Additionally, if the car has been out of service for 45 days in that period.

Vehicles covered under Louisiana Lemon Law:

  • Passenger motor vehicles sold in LA.
  • Commercial motor vehicles sold in LA.
  • PWCs, personal water-crafts, and ATVs, all-terrain vehicles, still under warranty or sold on and after August 15, 1999.
  • Chassis and drive trains of personal motor homes sold in LA or are still under warranty after August 15, 1999.

Vehicles not covered:

  • Motorcycles
  • Newly leased motor vehicles
  • Recreational vehicles (RV)
  • Demonstrator (Demo) motor vehicles
  • Mobile homes

You must file your claim with the Better Business Bureau’s program called BBB Auto Line. You can do this online using a complaint form.  Or you call toll free at 800-955-5100 (M-F 9am to 5:30pm EST).