Can You Pursue Damages from Faulty Software or a Product Defect in EVs?

The world of transportation is always changing and innovating, with the latest most groundbreaking innovations being electric vehicles (EVs). These vehicles are at the forefront of innovation, offering sustainable and efficient alternatives to our traditional gas operated cars. However, as with any rapidly advancing technology, there are inherent risks and potential for defects. electric cars rely on software more than any other vehicle, so when the software is faulty or the product is defective it can lead to serious injuries. A defective product claim can be challenging, and with this new technology it can also be complicated. In this article we aim to delve into the unique challenges that arise during a product defect claim as well as what you can do to help make your claim go as smoothly as possible.

Understanding Product Liability with Electric Vehicles

Product liability refers directly to a manufacturer’s responsibility for producing a faulty or defective product that causes harm to its users. When talking about electric vehicles this refers directly to:

  • Software Defects: A software defect is something that causes an issue in the car’s operational software. This refers to any issues that arise, such as a faulty autonomous driving system, navigational errors, as well as malfunctioning safety features.
  • Hardware Defects: Hardware defects are any defects that were caused during the manufacturing of the vehicle. These defects can include issues like battery failure, brake malfunctions, issues with the construction of the chassis, as well as faults in the wiring of the cars electrical systems.

Unique Challenging in Pursuing Claims

Technological Complexity:

Electric cars come equipped with advanced technologies that require specialized knowledge to understand and evaluate. Proving a defect often involves intricate details about software algorithms, electrical systems, and mechanical components. Legal teams must collaborate with experts in automotive technology to establish the defect and its direct link to the injury.

Software Updates and Recalls:

Unlike a traditional vehicle, electric cars can receive over-the-air software updates. Manufacturers may argue that issues could have been resolved through these updates, complicating the process of proving a defect existed at the time of the accident. Additionally, recalls can play a significant role in determining liability as they demonstrate the manufacturer’s acknowledgment of a defect.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Electric vehicles generate vast amounts of data through their onboard systems. This data can be crucial in reconstructing the events leading up to an accident. Accessing and interpreting this information requires technical expertise, and manufacturers may be reluctant to share proprietary data, posing an additional hurdle.

Evolving Legal Standards:

The legal framework surrounding electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology is still developing. Courts and regulatory bodies are continually updating standards and guidelines, which can impact the outcome of a personal injury claim. Staying informed about the latest legal developments is essential for effectively pursuing such cases.

Steps to Take When Pursuing a Claim

  • Gather Comprehensive Evidence: Collect all relevant data, including vehicle logs, maintenance records, and any communications with the manufacturer. This evidence will be vital in establishing the defect and its connection to the injury.
  • Consult With Experts: Engage automotive engineers, software specialists, and accident reconstruction experts to provide professional insights and testimony. Their expertise will be instrumental in building a strong case.
  • Review Manufacturer Documentation: Examine any technical bulletins, recall notices, and software update logs provided by the manufacturer. These documents can reveal known issues and the manufacturer’s response, supporting your claim of negligence.
  • Stay Updated on Legal Precedents: Monitor recent cases and legal developments related to electric vehicles and product liability. Understanding how similar cases have been adjudicated can guide your legal strategy.
  • Negotiate with Caution: Manufacturers and insurance companies may offer settlements to avoid lengthy litigation. Carefully evaluate any settlement offers with your legal team to ensure that they adequately cover your damages and your future needs.

Pursuing a personal injury claim due to faulty software or product defects in an electric car presents unique challenges that require a specialized approach. By understanding the complexities involved, gathering comprehensive evidence, and leveraging expert insights, you can navigate the legal landscape effectively. As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, staying informed about the latest technological and legal developments will be crucial for successfully advocating for your clients.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defect in an electric vehicle, contact our experienced legal team today for a consultation. We are dedicated to ensuring that victims receive the compensation that they deserve and holding manufacturers accountable for their products.