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Snowboy

Original Poster:

8,027 posts

36 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
This is just a theoretical question based on the bodge thread.

What would happen if a car had a mechanical failure that caused an accident?

Let's assume fully comp insurance.
Say a brake calliper stuck causing a swerve and a crash.
£5k same to your car £5k damage to someone else.
Would both cars get paid for?

Would the person who last touched the calliper (or hadn't maintained it) be liable at all?
What if it was bodged rather than fitted properly?
Would the insurers even pursue that line of questioning?

Is there anything else relevant?

mcflurry

7,866 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
I reckon that a £10k claim would just be paid by the insurance company.

If it was a loss of life claim then they might investigate a bit more IMHO.

bodhi808

125 posts

64 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
A good friend of mine had a car go up in smoke shortly after a restoration job.
The insurance company carried out a pretty thorough examination of the wreck and also interviewed the garage owner / mechanic who carried out the restoration work about what he did and what parts he used. I assume if they had found just cause they would have sued him after they paid out my friend.
The insurance assessment was that a failure in the fuel pressure regulator caused a mist of fuel under the bonnet which ignited.

pcvdriver

1,714 posts

84 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
mcflurry said:
I reckon that a £10k claim would just be paid by the insurance company.

If it was a loss of life claim then they might investigate a bit more IMHO.
+1 Minus any excesses......

bradjsmith88

44 posts

13 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
Likelyhood is the mechanical failure is excluded.

In the example therefore you would be liable for the replacement of the caliper.

The insurer would cover impact damage.

If the impact damage alone rendered the vehicle un-economcial to repair the insurer would pay you the market value (assuming its a MV policy)

Depending on what evidence can be obtained the insurer may have a right of recovery if there is another liable party - i.e. if the caliper was defective due to manufacturing process etc. However likely that the cost of obtaining evidence would outweigh the cost of your claim so would probably go down as a fault claim.

Recoveries can and have been made in those circumstances. Depends how determined your insurer is/what the cost of the claim is.
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AndyNetwork

1,561 posts

79 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
I know of an accident where a tyre gave up, and pitched a car into a lamp post, which then came down on top of the car.

Insurance co. paid out.

Who me ?

5,246 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 4th October 2013 quote quote all
Might be different today, but way back in the 70's I had a steering column spline give way on a Mini van,shortly after it's first service . So it had passed factory inspection /PDI and first service without being tightened . I replaced the wheel -rack shaft and word from main dealer was that they saw a lot of loose column shafts. The assessor who came out accepted this . I think he was also impressed with the interior of the van . Set of gauges, wood effect Formica dash and radio , complete with foam sound deadening and carpet in rear .

Futuramic

1,617 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 5th October 2013 quote quote all
It's one of those civil/criminal law crossover areas so is possibly a tad murky.

Driving a car that isn't in roadworthy condition is a criminal offence; and the police can order an engineer to inspect a car after a crash to see if there were mechanical faults present that led to the collision. The driver can be prosecuted if the car isn't up to scratch; let's say it had bald tyres or dodgy brakes or something.

Given a successful the insurance company may use it as evidence to avoid paying out for damage to the defective car (assuming it was at fault); however this wouldn't remove any third party liability. Whether they would try and sue to recover costs is another matter. This is the civil side of the same coin.

davepoth

23,153 posts

84 months

[news] 
Sunday 6th October 2013 quote quote all
[quote=Who me ?]Might be different today, but way back in the 70's I had a steering column spline give way on a Mini van,shortly after it's first service . So it had passed factory inspection /PDI and first service without being tightened . I replaced the wheel -rack shaft and word from main dealer was that they saw a lot of loose column shafts. The assessor who came out accepted this . I think he was also impressed with the interior of the van . Set of gauges, wood effect Formica dash and radio , complete with foam sound deadening and carpet in rear .
[/quote]

Groovy. smile

CYMR0

2,999 posts

85 months

[news] 
Monday 7th October 2013 quote quote all
Futuramic said:
It's one of those civil/criminal law crossover areas so is possibly a tad murky.

Driving a car that isn't in roadworthy condition is a criminal offence; and the police can order an engineer to inspect a car after a crash to see if there were mechanical faults present that led to the collision. The driver can be prosecuted if the car isn't up to scratch; let's say it had bald tyres or dodgy brakes or something.

Given a successful the insurance company may use it as evidence to avoid paying out for damage to the defective car (assuming it was at fault); however this wouldn't remove any third party liability. Whether they would try and sue to recover costs is another matter. This is the civil side of the same coin.
On a smallish claim (less than six figures, at a guess) insurance company would just pay up.

On a larger claim, they may dispute fault due to no negligence (like when a stone in the road is picked up by a tyre and hits a car behind). If the mechanical failure occurred suddenly during the journey, there may be no criminal offence of driving an unroadworthy vehicle, as the car was roadworthy at all points while the driver was actually in a position to decide whether to drive it.

The insurance contract may exclude damage if the car's lack of roadworthiness contributed to the claim, but it would depend on the contract and the third party would be paid out if the driver was negligent, regardless.

The last repairer etc. could be liable, either through product liability (e.g., if new brakes fell off) or generally for negligent misstatement if the mechanic signed off a car that was clearly faulty. In either case, lack of evidence and lack of a worthwhile defendant would make claims against a repairer unlikely in practice, although there's no particular legal barrier to them.
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