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 a collision.
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.