The Different Types of Product Defects
There are three types of product defects:
- Design defects
- Marketing defects
- Manufacturing defects
Manufacturing and design defects are the most common types of product liability cases. Design defects are problems with the entire line of products due to the company’s design flaw. Manufacturing defects are unintentional, often quality-related, and exist in only a few of the line’s products.
Manufacturing defects commonly occur during the production process when the product deviates from its intended design because of either human or machine error. Even if the product was manufactured with extra care, there’s always a chance of manufacturing defects.
Manufacturing defects can happen with any product. For example, a medicated injection’s container gets contaminated during the filling process, or a silicon chip is soldered wrong, resulting in battery charging fluctuations in a smartphone. Both are examples of manufacturing defects and aren’t intentional.
Usually, these types of defects are avoided by firms through a quality control system. However, sometimes, the quality control system fails to detect a manufacturing defect, and the product is sent out for distribution despite the flaw.
Two Causes of Manufacturing Defects
The two causes of manufacturing defects are mentioned below:
- Low-quality raw materials
- Inadequate workmanship during assembly
Such defects can be avoided by using improved quality materials or by hiring more experienced and skilled workers.
Is the manufacturer liable for damage?
Whenever a product user is injured when using the product for its intended purpose, the manufacturer is liable for those injuries under the strict liability law. Through the strict liability law, the manufacturer can’t dispute such a lawsuit by claiming that the product was manufactured with extra care. As long as the plaintiff can prove defect and injury, they can sue the manufacturer.
How to prove that a product is defective
Suing the manufacturer under the strict liability law is relatively straightforward. However, sometimes the defending party tries to blame the plaintiff’s actions for causing the injury rather than accepting that the product’s defect was the reason for the damage.
Let’s assume that you were riding a bike and you’re in a hurry. You speed up to reach your destination on time, but the bike somersaults while trying to change gears. The accident might have happened because of the bike’s gears, but the defendant will most likely blame you for trying to speed up too quickly.
Additionally, if the product is highly damaged after the accident, it will be difficult to examine it to determine what caused the injury. This becomes the plaintiff’s problem since they can prove the defect.
In a case where the product isn’t available to examine, the plaintiff can use the “malfunction doctrine.” The malfunction doctrine helps injured individuals prove that the product’s defect was the reason behind the injury. It allows a plaintiff to show that the situation of an accident proves that a DEFECT caused the accident and nothing else. The plaintiff only needs to present evidence eliminating all other possible causes, which, in turn, shows that a flaw must have existed at the time of purchase.
When filing a manufacturing defect lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove:
- That the defect was there at the time of purchase.
- That it caused the damage.
- That the plaintiff didn’t know about the hazard before using the product in the instructed manner.
If the defendant can prove any of these wrong, then the injured person will lose their case. Make sure you do your homework before engaging in a costly and time-consuming product liability lawsuit.