Statistics show that more than 390 million vehicles of all kinds, and all sizes have been recalled to address and correct safety defects. Recalls happen all the time, which is a sign that manufacturers are willing to fix defects and addressing safety issues, making driving a safer experience for consumers. And despite high-profile recalls in the past few years, driving is safer, and cars are more reliable than ever before, thanks to more in-depth research, advanced engineering, and state-of-the-art safety features.
Moreover, the process of car recalls takes a backseat to a lot of safety precautions. Car manufacturers do everything in their power to avoid recalls in the first place. The first safety precaution that car manufacturers employ is the process of quality control. Quality control is key in any business, and perhaps even more so in the car manufacturing industry. The process always starts long before parts and production models are sent off into the assembly line.
When a vehicle company comes up with a new product, they first build prototypes, which are then tested thoroughly and many times to find vulnerabilities, mechanical issues, and other smaller details that could be improved. Once the prototypes have been given the signal, only then can the new design go into production. The quality control process will continue even while the cars are on the production line, as well. When the vehicles are built, every single one is tested for problems like air and fluid leaks, proper assembly, and mechanical problems.
Car engineers have developed numerous tests to know for sure how well a vehicle will survive real-world circumstances and conditions. For example, these engineers would take prototype cars for a test drive over specifically designed surfaces to experience the car ride’s smoothness and the durability of the vehicle’s suspension. They would also expose the vehicles to extreme weather conditions like the summer heat and the winter cold to determine how the car’s mechanical components would hold up in all types of temperatures.
Another test involves filling a vehicle with smoke and then inspecting the seals of the doors and the windows to ensure that it’s airtight. The crash test is also one of the most well-known quality control tests that car manufacturers conduct. While crash tests also occur in the insurance industry and the government sector, car companies also conduct their own to double-check the safety of their cars’ products and systems and their ability to protect the vehicles’ future occupants.
Technological advancements have made the process of quality control even more extreme and closely controlled. While automakers still do many quality control tests using realistic conditions, technology has also allowed them to exceed real-world conditions by making the circumstances more extreme and severe. Computer programs and state-of-the-art sensors are also employed to take more detailed assessments of the vehicle’s responses to the tests. The process has also become automated, so defects can be detected and addressed. However, no technology will be able to replace the human eye and touch. So employees are encouraged to still get heavily involved in the quality control processes.
Vehicle manufacturers need to do everything they can in their power to make sure that there is no defect in the vehicles they let out into the world for use. This is because these manufacturers can be held liable for two kinds of defects: manufacturing defects and design defects. Design flaws happen when a vehicle manufacturer produces a car or a part of an inherently defective car. In contrast, manufacturing flaws are caused by negligence on the engineers’ part during the production process.
So if these flaws or defects cause a malfunction, and that malfunction causes an accident which then results in the injury, harm, or even death of a driver or its occupants, car accident lawyers can help the victim or their family file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car. A recent example of this is the case of the actor Anton Yelchin, who in 2016 met his untimely demise after his Grand Cherokee jeep rolled back on him and pinned him between his security gate, mailbox, and car. His parents sued Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the company responsible for the production of the Grand Cherokee Jeep. They reached a settlement in 2018.
Yes, car accidents can still happen, but enough work is being done to ensure that vehicles that end up in the market are safe to use. So as long as you’re a responsible driver, you don’t have to be afraid of driving.