A malfunctioning braking system can cause serious accidents and injuries and when defective, improperly installed, or inadequately maintained brakes result in severe car accidents, injured victims can recover compensation from brake manufacturers, car dealerships, mechanics, maintenance personnel, and others.
The Dangers of Bad Brakes
When driving at highway speeds, it takes approximately 300 feet to bring a car to a full stop with good brakes. At high speeds, a serious crash with injuries or fatalities is twice as likely with bad brakes.
Braking systems in today’s cars are complex with many parts that must be working properly to prevent brake failure. Brake problems can be caused by defective components, improper installation, worn out parts, and lack of maintenance.
Defective brakes are caused by design errors and manufacturing problems. Defective brakes can impact an entire line of cars with the same brake systems. Common brake defects include:
- Brakes overheating
- Cracked calipers
- Hydraulic lines leaking
- Antilock brake system failure
- Parking brakes that fail
Lack of Regular Brake Maintenance
Lack of regular maintenance can lead to worn or damaged parts that can cause the brake system to fail. Most manufacturers recommend having brake inspections and maintenance performed about every 30,000 miles for optimal driving safety.
Common warning signs that signal needed brake maintenance or repairs include:
High-pitched squealing noises indicate that brake pads need to be replaced. Grinding noises are the sounds of metal on metal which indicate more serious problems with calipers and rotors.
Vehicle Pulling to the Left or Right
If a vehicle pulls to the left or right when the brakes are applied, this can indicate worn brake pads, a collapsed brake hose, or a stuck caliper. If a brake inspection shows that brakes are good, the problem may be related to the car’s suspension, front-end alignment, or bad tires.
Pulsing or Vibrating in the Brake Pedal
With anti-lock brakes, the brake pedal commonly pulses or vibrates in an emergency stop, but not in a normal stop. If pulsing or vibrations are felt in a normal stop, this can indicate worn or warped rotors that should be repaired or replaced immediately.
Soft and Hard Braking
If the brake pedal pushes to the floor (soft braking), this can indicate worn out brake pads, air leaks in hoses, leaking brake fluid, or a faulty hydraulic system. If the brake pedal is very difficult to push (hard braking), this can indicate a problem with the vacuum system or a blockage in the brake line.