Defective Fuel Systems
Car fires can be one of the most devastating types of motor vehicle . According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there were roughly 189,5000 highway vehicle fires in the U.S. in 2019.
One cause of these tragic events is defective fuel systems, which can produce leaking gas and fuel that may ignite. At William Mattar, we have the ability to handle claims for those who have been hurt because of a defective auto part or product. If your vehicle’s fuel system malfunctioned, resulting in a car fire or accident injury, our product liability attorneys are here to help. We will fight to hold those responsible for your accident accountable. Contact our law offices at (844) 444-4444 to speak to a personal injury attorney today.
Common Fuel System Defects
Fuel systems can suffer from several potential defects that are not necessarily apparent right away. Faulty fuel tanks might be improperly placed, or easily damaged and/or punctured. Whether it is due to a manufacturing, design, or installation error, fuel system defects can result in dangerous gas or fuel leaks, as well as explosions that endanger the lives of vehicle occupants. Some common fuel system defects include:
- Incorrect placement of fuel tanks and lines;
- Faulty fuel pump or injector;
- Poor welding/installation that heightens the risk of rupture;
- Missing cut-off device to prevent the flow of gas;
- Inadequate materials for connecting fuel tanks; and
- Inadequate materials for fuel lines, making them easily breakable.
In addition to the above, the positioning of a fuel tank or other fuel components is crucial and can be the difference between a functioning or defective system. For instance, placement of a tank on the rear or side of a vehicle could potentially make it susceptible to damage during a motor vehicle accident. You can check whether your vehicle is under recall for a defect at NHTSA.com.
Signs of a Fuel System Issue
Fuel system problems can be the result of an inherent defect or poor vehicle maintenance. There are a few warning signs you can be on the lookout for when it comes to your car’s fuel system. If you notice one of the following, it could be an indication of a defect:
- Noise emanating from the fuel tank;
- Difficulty starting your vehicle;
- Engine stalling or sputtering;
- Loss of power when accelerating or changing gears; and
- Car jerking or surging.
If you suspect a defective fuel system contributed to a car accident or fire, contact a personal injury lawyer at William Mattar. We can investigate your case and help determine if a manufacturer is liable for your vehicle’s fuel system problem.
Fuel Tank Fires and Accidents
One of the biggest concerns regarding fuel system defects is the increased risk of a car fire or explosion. A defective part can cause gas or fuel to leak in a collision, causing the vehicle to ignite into flames. Car fire accident victims can sustain severe burns that cause scarring, disfigurement, and other serious bodily damage. Tragically, many vehicular fires take the lives of drivers and occupants.
Auto manufacturers have recalled vehicles for issues relating to their fuel system components. For instance, Ford has recalled over a million vehicles for flawed fuel tanks and filler necks that could fail in a collision, resulting in a possible fire. In 2020, Toyota and Lexus recalled 1.8 million vehicles for defective fuel pumps that could cause the vehicles to suddenly stall while driving.
Who is Responsible for a Dangerous Fuel System?
Vehicle manufacturers and manufacturers that design and produce fuel components (such as pumps and lines) have an obligation to ensure their products and parts are safe for consumers. If you were injured as a result of a fuel system defect, the manufacturer will likely bear some responsibility for the accident. An attorney experienced with product liability claims can help you pursue legal action and receive financial compensation for your injuries.
Damages for an injury related to a car accident or fire can include:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Lost future income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Diminished quality of life.
Those who have tragically lost a family member to a car fire or collision resulting from a defective part may be able to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. A wrongful death action compensates surviving loved ones for the losses that result from their loved one’s death (i.e. loss of financial support or loss of companionship). Contact an attorney today to learn more about your options.
Speak to a Product Liability Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a faulty fuel system, speak to an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible. The team at William Mattar knows how stressful it can be to experience a serious injury, and we can help ease that burden. Call us today at (844) 444-4444, or fill our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.