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Design Flaws and Manufacturing Defects | Traffic and Safety Updates

Sponsored by the National Road Safety Foundation

Manufacturers are required by law to design and engineer cars that meet a minimum safety standard.  While advancements are being made every day to improve the safety and efficiency of automobiles on the road, problems with the design and functionality of the cars themselves — sometimes referred to as product liability — is one of the top causes of car accidents on the road.

Even with federal safety standards and extensive testing on every automobile manufactured, it can be assumed that there will still be a significant number of defective cars on the road.

What Do Auto Makers Do About Design Defect?

Car manufacturers are usually faced with only two choices after discovering a poorly designed auto component:

  • Recall the defective part or car and fix it.
  • Pay off accident-related lawsuits as they arise.

Manufacturing defects can lead to very serious auto accidents.  As such, you should be aware of the typical design defects, as well as how to prevent a car accident.

Brake Failures Result in Major Car Accidents

Modern dual-circuit brake systems have made total brake failure an unlikely event. If one side of the brake circuit fails, the other side can sufficiently stop the car.  Disc brakes, found on the front wheels of nearly every car built today, are significantly more effective than older drum braking systems, which can fade when hot. Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) or anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up during emergency braking maneuvers, allowing modern automobiles to avoid many car accidents that might have occurred in the past due to brake failure.

Defective Tires Can Cause Car Accidents

The radial tires manufactured today are significantly safer than the bias-ply tires produced 25 years ago. Problems can still occur, mainly due to air pressure or tire traction. Under-inflated tires are the top cause of tire blowouts.  Uneven or worn-out tires caused by improperly balanced tires and misaligned or broken suspensions can put any car on an unintended path that may cause a car accident.

Your tires keep you connected to the roadway.  If you do not know how to check your own tires then have a certified car mechanic check them every 5,000 miles.

Poor Steering & Suspension Can Lead to Car Accidents

Your suspension keeps your tires in contact with the roadway in a stable and predictable manner while the steering mechanisms enable you to go around road obstacles and avoid potential accidents. Even a safe, well-trained driver is helpless in the event of a steering or suspension system failure. To ensure your automobile is operating safely in terms of suspension and steering, have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic every 10,000 miles.

Hours and Info

6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Tuesday – Friday 10AM through 6PM
Saturday – Sunday 10AM through 4PM
Closed Mondays and Major Holidays

About the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through our theme, “The Spirit of Competition”, we celebrate the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.

Assembled over 50 years by Dr. Frederick Simeone, the Museum contains over 75 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, and more.

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