You were overjoyed that nobody in your family had bought one of the vehicles that was involved in a recent recall. You thought you could relax, knowing that everyone you loved was driving a safe car... until the unthinkable happened. Your loved one did not survive a wreck on the I-635 / I-70 interchange. The other driver didn’t seem to be at fault, and police aren’t sure why the crash occurred. While there is suspicion that your family member was at fault for the wreck, you know he was a safe driver. How can you prove it?

In many of these cases, the victim was not at fault for the accident—his car was. A defect in the design, structure, or components of the vehicle may cause a malfunction that caused the crash—and your loved one’s death—to occur. 

Which Malfunctioning Items Have Caused Car Accidents in the Past?

While any part of a car may malfunction and cause a crash, there are a few elements that can cause serious accidents if they do not respond to driver actions. Malfunctioning parts can also make injuries in a crash unnecessarily worse. The following are a few common examples:

Accelerator pedals  

Many drivers have been affected by the recent Toyota recalls involving sudden acceleration, which have caused deaths and serious injuries in the months leading to the company-wide recall.

Ignition switches

GM has also recently recalled many of its vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch, which led some cars to stall during driving.


An airbag failing to deploy can be a standalone problem, an electrical issue, or a result of a primary issue with the vehicle. In the case of the GM recall, the ignition switch fault allegedly disabled the airbags, making injuries in the accidents more severe.

Steering columns

A steering wheel column may “lock up” during highway driving, making it impossible for the driver to avoid hitting an object.

Seats and restraints 

A car seat that does not securely hold a passenger in a crash, and provide padded cushioning for his head, can cause brain damage, back injury, or spinal cord injuries. A malfunctioning seat belt can release the driver—throwing him from the car—or fail to unlock. This could cause him to become trapped inside a wrecked vehicle.


Automobile frames are designed to add strength to the outside of the vehicle, but lighter models that are built for speed will often eliminate the steel pillars and roofs that can protect occupants from being crushed in a rollover crash.

How Can I Prove That a Malfunction Was to Blame for the Crash?

The most important thing you can do to protect your case is to have the accident investigated as soon as possible. If the accident scene has been cleared, an experienced attorney can look over the wreckage of the vehicle, examine pictures of the scene, and get in contact with any witnesses who saw the accident occur. We can also look at the vehicle manufacturer’s records to see if there have been any other reported issues with their vehicles, finding out what really happened on the day of your relative’s death.

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.