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Auto Defect Attorney

With the advent of new car safety systems, automakers have pushed out new and improved technology like automatic collision avoidance systems to appeal to the modern consumer. But car safety defects and system malfunction has caused many accidents and road injuries.

As a result, consumer safety advocate sand auto defect lawyers have held car makers responsible for improperly testing new technology before it is installed in automobiles and sold to the public.

Automated emergency braking defects and defective collision avoidance systems have been a major source of stress for car companies that promise better car safety components and more tech-heavy automobiles.

It seems the more advanced technology has come at a high cost, however. New collision avoidance technology and automated emergency braking systems can be defective and malfunction at inopportune times.

When drivers rely on car safety systems and defective collision avoidance systems, it puts them at risk of rear impact accidents and very serious road injury.

Computer driven cars and crash avoidance sounds like the safer wave of the future, but until car companies can guarantee safe technology, consumers are at risk of auto defects and severe injury.

Joe Lyon is an experienced auto defect attorney and consumer safety lawyer reviewing automated emergency braking defects and defective collision avoidance systems. 

The Lyon Firm works with accident reconstruction experts and auto engineers to determine the root cause of preventable accidents.

Understanding Collision Avoidance Technology

CAT installed in cars and trucks is meant to provide drivers with safety alerts, warning them of potential collisions. Some of the newer systems are designed to react autonomously, and may avoid road collisions.

This accident avoidance technology is extremely valuable and can stop a commercial truck from an abrupt lane departure or the rear-ending of vehicles. CAT can save lives.

But these safety features can malfunction when drivers are relying on them to work properly. CAT systems may include sensors, cameras, radar, and computers that collect and interpret data. The systems may be designed to warn the driver of an imminent risk, or to act autonomously. Types of CAT warnings may include:

  • Forward Collision Warning: a forward collision warning (FCW) system monitors a vehicle’s speed, and the distance between and speed of other vehicles on the road.
  • Lane Departure Systems: lane departure systems have sensors that can provide warnings to drivers of risks in adjacent lanes, and can warn the driver when their vehicle is drifting out of its lane.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Warning: when a vehicle is in reverse, system monitors the area to the rear of the vehicle for cross traffic
  • Blind Spot Warning: Blind spot intervention systems use cameras or sensors to monitor a vehicle’s blind spot.

Defective Collision Avoidance Technology

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun monitoring automatic crash prevention systems due to the number of accident reports. Many cars have safety technology, sensors and cameras that detect objects to avoid.

Avoiding rear end collisions are a priority with the systems, though the safety features do not always function as intended. Forward-crash prevention technology may be able to automatically prevent a rear-end collision about half of the time, but what about the other half? When drivers begin relying on safety features, are they less likely to drive with the same caution?

Lane-Departure Systems and lane-keeping assistance (LKA) are another source of contention among car safety advocates. Sensors are meant to keep drivers safer by alerting them of nearby objects. But malfunctions can be devastating. New technology is intended to avoid accidents, but when it is defective, lawsuits may be filed on behalf of injured plaintiffs.

Safety advocates are pushing for automatic braking in all cars to reduce rear-end collisions, though auto defects are hindering these efforts.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

Emergency Braking Defects

Automated emergency braking (AEB) systems are designed to detect rear-end collision hazards and automatically applies car brakes to mitigate or prevent serious impact. At least twenty automakers have agreed to use AEB in their new vehicles by 2022.

A 2016 study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that vehicles equipped with AEB and forward-collision warnings were involved in 39 percent fewer rear-end crashes than vehicles without the technology. But these systems have not been perfected and automatic braking malfunction can lead to serious accidents and injuries for motorists and passengers.

Car companies admit that AEB systems have blind spots and there may be a long way to go in properly designing automatic car safety functions. Some AEB systems may not even work when operating vehicles on a hill. Some automatic braking malfunction cases reported say the AEB system often will not see vehicles with high ground clearance or those with a low rear bumper.

Windshield wipers may even interfere with automatic braking systems, and uneven ground surfaces can cause the system to malfunction. These braking defects can lead to serious auto accidents.

Automated Braking Defects

There is no doubt that automatic safety features like braking systems are complex and evolving. However, if an automaker sells and distributes vehicles with defective components, they may be held liable for any damages and injuries caused by design defects.

Car makers have been concerned that AEB systems can act on a false positive, with the computer applying the brakes in the absence of a road threat. In 2015, the NHTSA opened an investigation into 95,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees following reports that the SUV was braking for no reason. Auto computers and vehicle software may be defective and cause serious injuries and deaths.

Automatic Braking Defects & Recalls

Nissan’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system has reportedly malfunctioned and vehicles have stopped in unexpected situations, due to broken sensor, a misaligned radar and software defects. Models affected include the 2015-2018 Nissan Rogue, Nissan Rouge Sport, Murano, Altima, Maxima, Armada, Pathfinder, Leaf and Sentra with AEB functions.

Acura recalled nearly 48,000 MDX SUVs and RLX sedans from 2014 and 2015 because their Collision Mitigation Braking System sees phantom objects and applies the brakes. The automatic braking system can mistake guardrails and vehicles for a roadblock.

The AEB system may interpret certain roadside objects as obstacles and apply the brakes, potentially leading to accidents, according to a recall report from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Defective Emergency Braking Recalls

Automatic braking systems are not the only defective brake systems on the market. For many years safety advocates have worked to identify other braking defects that could lead to road accidents and injury. Recalls have been issued for cars, trucks, SUVs and RVs.

Elite Trailer Manufacturing announced a recall of certain 2012 Livestock Goosneck Trailers.   The recalled trailers were manufactured between November 17, 2011 and January 17th, 2012 and were equipped with Carlisle hydraulic brake actuators which were wearing out at higher rates.

The risk was loss of braking ability due to hydraulic pump failure in the trailer. Hydraulic pump failure creates a risk of loss of trailer control which could result in rollover or collision and harm to the driver,occupants and other members of the travelling highway.

NHTSA Campaign Number 13V-209

Consumers can contact the NHSTA hotline at 1-800-424-9153 or visit the website at

Defective Auto Software

The number of automotive software defects and related auto recalls have jumped dramatically in recent years with auto makers relaying more and more on computer-driven systems to operate vehicles. Data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes dozens of software-related vehicle recalls in the last five years alone.

Defects reportedly involve locks, power train, fuel system, vehicle speed control, air bags, electrical systems, engine control and engine cooling, lighting, steering, hybrid systems, and braking controls. Automatic braking, Electronic Stability, and Forward Collision Avoidance are listed as concerning defects and have potentially caused car accidents and injuries.

Joe Lyon is well-versed in litigating defective auto software recalls and related injuries for plaintiffs nationwide.

The Lyon Firm works with software experts and computer system analysts to determine the root cause of software-related accidents.

The Lyon Firm works with software experts and computer system analysts to determine the root cause of software-related accidents.

Car Software-Controlled Components

Auto Software Recalls

Automotive software controls are more complex with each new model released, though road safety advocates and consumer safety attorneys are asking auto makers to regulate their own quality control and safety tests to ensure motorists and passengers are safe on America’s roads.

Because newer cars may not be able to operate at all without certain software, the computers installed in automobiles are now as critical as the engine itself. Though with other auto defects like tire failures and defective airbags, automotive software defects can cause serious accidents and lead to injury and death.

Car manufacturers have a duty to first design and produce a safe product, and then properly test the product, and warn customers when defects are known and reported.

Auto Software Defects

From 2005 to 2012, there were over 30 recalls that involved software defects. The three years after, the number of software-related recalls doubled, affecting nearly every part of the vehicle.

Software defects were widely reported in Tesla Motors, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover models, noting the self-driving accident risks. Some car experts have even called newer cars “computers on wheels.”

To protect the consumer and build trust in newer car technology, automakers must take responsibility for their defective products, and begin better manufacturing for a better future.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Collision Avoidance System Defects

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Has My Car Been Recalled?

Consumers can follow recall news or search for current and past recalls on the Web sites of the NHTSA, as well as on other car safety advocate outlets. Look on your car windshield for a 17-character Vehicle Identification Number. Your VIN is also located on your car’s registration card.

If your car has been recalled and you have suffered an injury, contact an auto defect attorney to investigate a potential claim

Can I File an Auto Defect Lawsuit?

You may not be aware that your car is defective. It is not always obvious when your seat belt or other safety component fails to function as intended. It can take an expert in auto engineering to determine what contributed to an accident or injury.

You can contact The Lyon Firm, and we will work diligently to review your auto accident case. If an auto defect was in part responsible for an auto injury, a lawsuit can be filed and a large settlement is likely.

If negligent manufacturers and automakers are directly responsible for an auto-related injury, a product liability and personal injury lawsuit may be filed and compensation may be recovered for accident victims. Plaintiffs may seek compensation that may include property damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings, and pain and suffering.

The Lyon Firm takes pride in representing consumers to make America’s roads safer by holding negligent auto manufacturers accountable for auto defects that lead to accidents and injuries. When car makers fail to institute basic safety measures and fail to test auto components before releasing cars tot he public, they may be targeted in product liability lawsuits.

Did an Auto Defect Cause my Accident?

Auto defects have been known to cause accidents in tire failure, tread separation accidents, brake malfunction and sudden acceleration cases.

Auto defects may not cause every accident, but they can play an integral part in causing injury in the event of an accident. This is common in defective seat back collapse, seat belt defects and airbag defects. When these crucial safety features fail to function as they were intended.

Who is Responsible for Auto Defects?

Auto manufacturers and car makers can be held liable in auto defect lawsuits. Many automakers outsource some of their production and may not always be aware of some defects. Honda, for example, purchased all their defective airbags from Takata.

Some defective auto part suits name other defendants like negligent auto dealerships or auto repair shops who alter car parts or fail to properly repair automobiles and leave a serious safety risk.

What Cars are Defective?

The list of defective automobiles changes each year, and it is more likely that certain components are defective rather than an entire brand name. Nowadays many car makers use the same third-party suppliers, which compounds safety issues when a defective auto part is produced.

What are the Most common Auto Defects?

In recent years, the most common auto defects have been faulty airbags. Millions of cars were recalled for defective airbags. Other common auto defects are defective throttles, defective car software, and tire failures. Tire failure has been an issue in many car accidents and truck accidents.

Why Hire a Product Liability Attorney?

A Cincinnati Auto Defect Lawyer can assist in not only reviewing your accident and injury case, but is able to hold large corporations accountable for the negligent actions in releasing unsafe products to the public.

Auto companies must be held liable in order to keep the roads safe in America. So not only can The Lyon Firm seek compensation for injured plaintiffs, but we can file lawsuits to punish car makers for failing to properly test their auto parts before they are sold to the public.

When car makers fail to produce reliable cars and fail to provide basic road safety features, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and product liability attorneys can hold them responsible and help mitigate injuries and future damages.

The majority of accidents and injuries on the road are preventable, but defective auto design and manufacturing defects may leave victims with huge medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in many cases, permanent injuries.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.