It’s essential for any automobile to be able to brake when needed. Braking allows drivers to slow down and bring the vehicle to a stop when they reach their destination. It also enables automobiles to avoid hitting other vehicles or obstacles.
But no matter how efficient a vehicle’s brakes are, it won’t matter if some software error is causing uncontrolled acceleration. This seems to be the case with Hyundai’s latest recall. The auto manufacturer has issued a recall for its Elantra hybrids over an issue that causes unexpected acceleration after braking.
According to Hyundai, there’s an issue with the sedan’s motor control unit software. Said issue causes the car to suddenly accelerate after a driver releases the brake pedal. The company is aware of at least 24 incidents of unexpected acceleration. As of June 16, 2023, there were no confirmed crashes or injuries related to the issue.
The recall affects some 37,997 Elantra hybrids from the 2021 to 2023 model years. Hyundai will send owners notifications via mail by October this year, advising them to bring their cars to their nearest dealer for repairs.
Suing for unexpected acceleration issues
If a car unexpectedly accelerates and causes a collision that leads to injuries, you may be able to sue the manufacturer. Per California law, you can hold a business responsible for your injuries if a defective product or part caused them through a product liability lawsuit.
You’ll have to prove the following in a product liability lawsuit:
- Inherent defect: The manufacturer’s vehicle had a defect in its design or building. It could’ve also been a defect that arose during its shipping and distribution.
- Reasonable usage: You used the vehicle and its features as intended by the manufacturer.
- The defect led to harm: You must prove that the defect – in this case, a software error that causes unexpected acceleration – directly led to your injuries.
Keep in mind that state law has restrictions on which types of manufacturers can be sued. You can’t file lawsuits against manufacturers who make inherently unsafe products (i.e., firearms, fireworks, etc.) or products intended for personal consumption (i.e., alcoholic beverages, sugar, etc.). However, automobile companies are fair game.
Nothing can be more dangerous to drivers and pedestrians than a car that can suddenly accelerate without warning. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a car’s defective acceleration issue, you can sue the manufacturer for damages. Consider retaining legal counsel because product liability lawsuits are complex and can take months to resolve.