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What are the Different Types of Auto Defects?

By Erin Oxendine
Updated May 23, 2024
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When a consumer purchases an automobile, the person should get a means of transportation that is dependable, safe and free of auto defects. Occasionally, after the sale, the owner may find a defect in the vehicle regardless if the car is new or used. Auto defects can be time-consuming, expensive and frustrating for the person who has purchased the car.

Automobiles can have defects that may have happened during manufacturing, at the dealership or with the original owner in the case of a used vehicle. When an individual buys a vehicle from a dealership, the car or truck may come with a full or limited warranty. If the car is an older used vehicle with excessive miles, the car may not include a warranty plan. It is up to the consumer to check the warranty for covered defects in case the automobile has issues after the sale is completed.

One of the types of auto defects is paint defects, which occurs when the paint on an automobile cracks, peels or fades, affecting the appearance of the vehicle and causing rust. This could happen during manufacturing when the vehicle was painted, such as a mistake in the application and coating process. Often, paint defects are hard to prove and the manufacturer may blame environmental irritants such as salt spray in a coastal area or other outside contamination factors. The consumer may have to get an automobile paint expert to study the paint defect and provide an opinion on the cause.

Other auto defects include safety problems, which can have serious consequences if the consumer or the manufacturer does not discover the defects. Examples of safety defects are problems with seat belts, air bags or door locks. If restraints in a vehicle do not release or restrain properly, this could cause severe bodily injury or death. Defective headlights are also another type of safety defect that could result in injury to the driver or passenger due to the driver not being able to see.

Mechanical defects can also bring about serious injury or death and include defective brakes, engine fires, suspension failure and parts that overheat. Other types of mechanical auto defects are cars that crumple upon impact instead of withstanding the collision and vehicles that lack features that should be standard to prevent an accident. If the manufacture becomes aware that the automobiles have these problems, the manufacture may issue a recall on the vehicle and contact the owner so that the owner can bring the vehicle in for repairs.

It is important as a consumer to always inspect any automobile before buying it as well as ask for copy of the vehicle's crash history to see if the vehicle was involved in any wrecks. If someone finds major defects in a vehicle after the sale that cannot be fixed, these defects may fall under the Lemon Law. The Lemon Law is a law that was passed to help individuals who have defective vehicles, or “lemons,” get another vehicle or their money back if the vehicle meets certain guidelines. When a matter is unable to be resolved by contacting the dealer or manufacture, the consumer may want to discuss the issue with an attorney who specializes in auto defects.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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