When thinking about vehicle safety, it's common that people focus on airbags, seat belts and braking systems. However, for nearly 50 years, the automotive industry has been aware that seat back strength is also an essential component of vehicle safety, as flimsy, defective seat backs are known to collapse backwards when a car is rear-ended at a speed as low as 25mph. In the event of a rear-end collision and seat back failure, drivers may:
- Be partially or fully ejected from the vehicle, if they have slid out from under their seat belt or are not wearing a safety belt
- Be thrown into another compartment or interior structure of the vehicle
- Lose control of their vehicle, which, in the worst cases, can cause a multi-vehicle collision
- Injure occupants in the back seat, particularly children in car seats
- Snap their necks over the head rest, particularly if the head rest is all the way down
- Be trapped in a vehicle, which is especially dangerous if the fuel system has ruptured
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of seat back failure, or if you have lost a loved one in this type of motor vehicle accident, you may have a product liability claim, allowing you to seek compensation for your losses.
Leaders in Auto Defect Cases
For nearly 20 years, the seasoned product liability attorneys at Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. have been standing up to carmakers that have failed to fix defective seat backs. We are passionate helping people who have been injured as a result of a defective auto part.
Vehicles Reported to Experience Seat Back Failure
For decades, Ford, GM and Hyundai (and others) have been aware of the instability of seat backs in rear-end crashes. Yet, despite this awareness, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has failed to pass more stringent standards regarding the strength of seat backs.
In fact, currently, the standards for seat back strength in new vehicles has not been updated since 1967. NHTSA has admitted its fault in overlooking this important standard in vehicle safety.
Types of Injuries Caused by Seat Back Failure
The driver who experiences seat back failure, as well as the passengers in his car and other car occupants, can all be injured or killed in the event of this vehicle defect. Injuries reported due to seat back failure may include:
- Bone fractures
- Brain damage
- Loss of limb
- Loss of vision
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia (particularly if the head snaps over the collapsed seat's head rest or if occupants are ejected from a vehicle)
- Severe lacerations and bruising
- Spinal cord injuries
Compensation for Seat Back Failure Injuries
At Pfaff & Gill Ltd., we represent individuals who have been injured by seat back failure (along with families of seat back failure wrongful death victims) We recognize the importance of product safety and are prepared to hold manufacturing companies accountable for unsafe products.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident where the seat back gave out, contact our automotive defect attorneys today. We will examine the details of your case to see if you have a legitimate claim.