Auto Accident Lawyer Dedicated to Assisting Individuals in Knoxville

Motorists expect their cars to contain basic safety features that protect them. More generally, consumers rely on manufacturers to follow proper protocol and regulations to ensure their products are not unreasonably dangerous. Unfortunately, not all carmakers follow the rules when it comes to ensuring their vehicles’ parts are safe. In recent years, Honda has failed to promptly recall millions of its vehicles despite knowing of a defective airbag problem. Mark C. Hartsoe represents Knoxville residents and others who have been hurt in auto accidents involving cars subject to this recall. A knowledgeable attorney can play a critical role in protecting your right to proper compensation for your injuries.

Takata Airbag and Other Recent Honda Recalls

Takata is a Japanese company that supplies airbags to many of the major car manufacturers. In 2004, reports began surfacing that Takata airbags were rupturing, causing metal bits and shrapnel to injure drivers and front seat passengers. Despite early reports regarding these explosions, involving vehicles manufactured in 2001 and afterward, Takata failed to issue a recall on its airbags until 2008. Honda and other carmakers also delayed in recalling vehicles that came equipped with these faulty safety features, which even in a minor collision could explode and injure, blind, or even kill motorists. Humidity, which is especially prevalent in Tennessee and surrounding states, increases the likelihood of these airbag failures, and so they are particularly dangerous to this state’s residents.

Since 2008, Honda has issued numerous recalls, affecting almost three million vehicles, due to these serious safety concerns. In December 2014, Honda recalled an additional three million vehicles in the United States, making the total number of recalls rise to six million. However, the Center for Auto Safety felt that these recalls came too late. It advocated for civil penalties against Honda for its delayed response to this known danger. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating Honda on suspicion of failing to report injuries and deaths due to these exploding airbags, which happened in incidents as far back as 2004.

Hold Manufacturers Liable for Unsafe Vehicles

When a vehicle contains unsafe components, car manufacturers can be held liable for the harm they cause. Automakers are required to perform safety tests to make sure their vehicles are not dangerous to consumers. If a defect is discovered, the manufacturer must fix the problem, replace the part or vehicle, or issue a refund. When the defect is not resolved, or a manufacturer fails to identify or address a faulty part, and an accident results, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation. Product liability claims can be brought against car manufacturers, sellers, distributors, or vendors if it is shown these parties breached their duty to provide reasonably safe products.

Product liability claims can be based upon three different legal theories: manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn. Manufacturing defects are present when the manufacturing process strays from the overall blueprint, making certain items different from other products assembled properly. To hold a company liable for a manufacturing defect, an injured party only needs to show that the product was unreasonably dangerous when it left the maker’s control.

A design defect affects all the products in a certain line as a result of a fundamental flaw in its design, making it likely to malfunction despite proper assembly. Products affected by these issues fail to work as intended, making them inherently dangerous to their users. If a design defect is prevalent in a main safety feature of a vehicle, the ability of that vehicle to protect its occupants is greatly compromised, as in the Takata airbags contained in Honda vehicles. To establish liability for a defectively designed product, an injured person must show that the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous when it was purchased, the vehicle was being used in an ordinary or foreseeable manner, and injuries and quantifiable damages resulted.

In Tennessee, product liability claims must be asserted within one year of an accident. Damages available to individuals injured by a defective product may include past and future medical bills, lost wages or earning capacity, property damages, and pain and suffering.

Protect Your Rights After a Car Wreck by Contacting a Knoxville Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured by an exploding airbag, you may be entitled to damages in a product liability lawsuit. Car wreck lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe is devoted to helping Knoxville residents try to hold automakers responsible for their reckless actions. Car recall cases can require lengthy, complex investigation and nuanced legal strategies. The Hartsoe Law Firm offers dedicated representation throughout all stages of the legal process. To set up a meeting to discuss your situation with us, call 865-804-1011 or contact us online.

Client Reviews
I was on my way to Atlanta and a huge truck rear-ended me and knocked me off the side of the road. I was scared. Didn’t know what to do. I tried working with the insurance company. They are just difficult to work with. I had to call somebody to take care of me. So, My brother told me to call Mark Hartsoe. As soon as I called Mark Hartsoe, he let me know real quick that everything was going to be okay and that he would take care of everything. And, he did. He got me a great settlement. He took the worry off of me. Mickey Anderson
I was hit coming home late at night by a drunk driver who took off. And the next day I was able to track down his vehicle and get the state police involved. At that point, a family friend recommended that I talk to Mark Hartsoe. Pretty much at that point, Mark handled the police, the insurance company and the guy who hit me. Settled with the actual person that hit me. Outside of that, everything came out great. Did not have to go to court. Got a great settlement. Got my car replaced. Got a check. Mark Hartsoe is my lawyer. Nate Holder
I was involved in a motorcycle accident. It was a head-on collision. I broke my arm, injured by knee. I was out of work for a long time and had medical bills, other expenses. A personal friend handed me a card for Mark Hartsoe. I called Mark Hartsoe from the side of the road and he took care of everything. My case was settled out of court. I received a great settlement. Bike was totaled, motorcycle was replaced. It was easy, painless. About as painless as something like this can be. This is why my lawyer is Mark Hartsoe. John Lusinger
I wanted to thank you for the excellent representation and your ability to handle the situation so well with such compassion and strength. We appreciate all of your help, concern and for answering my many questions. It has been a difficult road to travel but when we come across people like you, it really helps to lighten the load. We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you’ve done and your ability to handle the situation so well. S. Carter
Thank you so much for all the work you did on our case. We received more than we expected. You were great through the whole time from the first meeting until the last. Thank you so very much. Sam & Judy Kachar