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Potential auto product liability for Tesla Motors?

Many Missouri residents are aware of the risks of driving. They understand that accidents can happen at any time as a result of weather conditions, driver error or negligence and other circumstances. What many drivers do not regularly think about, however, is the risk of car defects and the potential of those defects to either cause an accident or worsen an injury suffered in an accident.

Tesla Motors' electric Model S sedan is a high-end electric car priced at $70,000. It has been praised for its style and performance. Its eco-friendly electric energy is provided by its lithium-ion batteries. These batteries, however, are now under scrutiny as regulators are investigating whether the batteries are defective and causing fires when they are punctured during a crash. In the last two months, three different fires have occurred involving Model S automobiles after the car crashed into a metal object on a highway, ran over a tow hitch in the roadway, or was involved in a high-speed crash.

Car defects are dangerous because most ordinary drivers do not know of the defects until it is too late. In many cases, car defects can actually cause an accident. This is often true with tire and brake defects. In other cases, the car defects can cause severe personal injury during or after a crash if the defect results in a fire or the air bags fail to deploy correctly, for example.

Because it is important that cars purchased by consumers are safe and not likely to cause accidents or injury, auto product liability is an important legal concept. Filing a lawsuit against a car manufacturer for auto product liability can help Missouri residents injured or harmed by auto defects receive compensation to cover the damages and injuries suffered. It is often important to have the assistance of an attorney experienced with these kinds of cases, however, because they can be quite complex. In addition to proving that an injury was suffered and establishing the cause of the injury, the plaintiff must also prove that the automobile or a component had an actual defect.

Source: New York Times, "After 3 Fires, Safety Agency Opens Inquiry Into Tesla Model S," Bill Vlasic and Jaclyn Trop, Nov. 19, 2013

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