Aftermarket Vehicle Product Liability: Safety Defects in Modified Vehicles

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Aftermarket Vehicle Product Liability: Safety Defects in Modified Vehicles

Aftermarket vehicles serve as transportation options for those with disabilities. Ramps, risers and lifts allow people with mobility problems the opportunity to travel in a car or van. These aftermarket vehicles were designed to improve quality of life for those that need them. However, if improperly manufactured or installed, these after market vehicles can be extremely dangerous.

If you have been in an auto accident or have suffered an injury related to your vehicle and your vehicle has been modified in any way, then that is an aftermarket vehicle that should be investigated. Safety defects often arise in modified vehicles for a number of reasons.

Do you own an aftermarket vehicle?

When people think of auto manufacturers, they typically think of companies like GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Chrysler and Honda. When discussing aftermarket vehicles, these manufacturers are referred to as the original equipment manufacturer or OEM. No doubt these companies are not immune from safety issues in their vehicles. But what people often do not realize is that some vehicles are purchased by an aftermarket vehicle manufacturer, and then modified or converted for sale to consumers like you.

Examples of aftermarket vehicles include handicap and wheelchair accessible vans and RV’s. Aftermarket manufacturers of wheelchair accessible vehicles include companies such as Vantage Mobility International (VMI), Braun Ability, Rollx Vans, AMS Vans, Ride Away and Freedom Motors among others. These manufacturers are often part of a network of wheelchair accessible vehicle dealers called National Mobility Equipment Dealer’s Association.

These aftermarket vehicle manufacturers purchase the chassis and the “guts” of the vehicle from an OEM, and then modify the vehicle for use for their intended customer. For instance, an aftermarket wheelchair accessible vehicle manufacturer will install a wheelchair ramp or lift on the vehicle. They may also modify the seats in the vehicle to allow the handicap individual the ability to transfer from the wheelchair to the vehicle seat. Similarly, an RV manufacturer may purchase the chassis from an OEM and then put the “box” of the RV on top of it.

Have you suffered injury as a result of your after-market vehicle?

Safety defects can arise when an aftermarket vehicle manufacturer modifies the vehicle. Often these companies do not do testing and do not have adequate engineering teams. As a result, the wheelchair ramps or lifts can lead to dangerous situations for the consumer. Often when these vehicles are modified, the fuel system, seats and other critically important safety components of the vehicle will be modified without adequate safety testing.

At Preuss | Foster Law, we have handled and successfully resolved defective aftermarket vehicle cases. We work with teams of engineering experts that allow us to explore these vehicles to determine if a safety issues exists and whether the vehicle meets applicable safety requirements.

If you have suffered serious injury, please contact us for a free consultation. We can determine if you have been the victim of a defective aftermarket vehicle product.

We are here to investigate and pursue compensation on your behalf, so you can focus on your recovery and health. Let us do the work for you. We have experience in cases just like yours, and we’ll take care of you. Call us today, we’re here to help.

If you have been injured in an auto accident as a result of an after-market vehicle, our firm’s auto accident injury lawyers would like to review your case. Preuss | Foster Law has an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in injury lawsuits. We handle after-market product liability cases and are dedicated to making these products safe for those that need them. Your consultation is free, and you don’t pay until we collect on your behalf. Call our team at 816-307-2788 for a free case evaluation.



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