Defective Car Lift Kit
Car lift kits are designed to be a do-it-yourself way to enhance your vehicle, but as with any auto part, they can be defective. If you believe a defective auto lift kit was to blame for your accident, consider the following points before filing a claim.
Installation ErrorsMost auto lift kits are designed to be simple enough that a vehicle owner can do the install alone. However, an improperly installed lift kit can be just as much of a hazard as a defective kit, which is why many lift kit manufacturers often cite owner error if the kit malfunctions. If you are considering having a lift kit installed, have it done by a professional certified in car repairs and installation. By working with a reputable mechanic you should be protected under their insurance if anything happens. A mechanic may also verify that the kit was properly installed and the accident was due to a defect rather than bad installation. A mechanic may also be able to detect defective kit parts before installing them and save you from a painful and costly accident.
Vehicle DefectsThe auto lift kit manufacturer may also blame the vehicle manufacturer for the accident if they cannot blame the person who installed the kit. The kit manufacturer may claim that the vehicle would have caused the accident even without the lift kit or that the tires were defective and caused the accident. Before you file a claim against the lift kit manufacturer, make sure there are no recalls issued for your vehicle. It may be necessary to have a dealership inspect your vehicle to testify that the vehicle's original components were functioning properly and that the lift kit defect caused the accident.
Do Not Further Alter Your VehicleIf you are in an accident after installing a lift kit and believe the kit was defective, do not tamper with the car until a professional can inspect it. When the vehicle is removed from the scene, have it towed and stored in a secure location and do not make any repairs until your attorney tells you it is okay to do so. Because a lift kit is an after-market part, the car manufacturer may deny any wrongdoing because you altered your vehicle after purchase. The lift kit manufacturer may try to pin the damage on either the vehicle manufacturer or the person who installed the kit. Therefore, you must keep the wreckage as-is to allow an inspector to determine if the lift kit was defective, or another party is to blame for the accident.
Understanding Vehicle LiabilityIn cases of accidents caused by automobiles with lift kits, there are several parties that could be liable: the driver of the car could be liable for negligent driving; the installer of the kit could be liable for improper installation; the vehicle manufacturer could be liable for a defective vehicle; or another driver or pedestrian could be liable for reckless behavior.