Should I speak to a dealership or manufacturer for a safety defect?

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Should I speak to a dealership or manufacturer for a safety defect?

I was driving on the highway, approx. 70 mph, My hood became separated from the latch, flying up and smashing my windshield. needless to say, we got very lucky no one was injured, and it did not cause an accident. To clarify, the latch is still attached to the car, the bolts broke that hold the hood to the latch. The car is used, still under lien making payments. It is a 5 year old model, which I purchased 3 years ago, not an old car by any means. Who should I ask to fix this – the dealer or the manufacturer?

Asked on July 21, 2016 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is very doubtful that either will fix this or otherwise compensate you: first, the car is 5 years old, so it has undergone wear and tear; second, you were speeding (i.e. violating the law), and going fast puts more air pressure on the hood. You are not likely to get anyone to voluntarily provide repairs or compensation for damage that occured while you were speeding in a half-decade-old car--especially when you are not the first owner, so you can't prove how the first owner maintained the car, or how he drove, or what kind of wear he put on it--and if you were to sue, you would almost certainly lose because you can't--without, say, expensive engineering or metallurgical analysis--prove that the bolts were defective and that the problem was not due, for example, to a propensity on the part of you and/or the prior owner to drive excessively fast.


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