Automotive Engineering Expert Investigates Alleged Design Defect


Automotive ExpertThis is a class action case involving an alleged design defect in an automobile model. The case alleged that poor design caused the vehicle’s tires to wear much more rapidly than the industry norm due to a flaw in the vehicle’s alignment. The plaintiffs claimed that the vehicle manufacturer should have known that the vehicles in question contained this design defects. An expert in automotive design was sought to opine on what design or manufacturing flaws may have contributed to this issue.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please briefly describe your automobile design experience.
  • 2. What may cause a defect such as this?

Expert Witness Response E-007975

I have worked in the automotive industry for 15+ years, during which time, I have primarily been responsible for chassis and suspension component and system design. I have also been responsible for developing alignment specifications and developing systems that provide the best handling for the driver. I have had to ensure that these systems are safe to operate for average operators while balancing the tire wear trade-offs.  I am of the opinion that suspension design, alignment specifications, and tire control during suspension travel all have a direct impact on tire wear sensitivity. I have served as a consultant on a similar case in defense of a manufacturer. To provide the most accurate opinion, I would have to inspect the vehicles in question, perform an alignment of the same, and evaluate the suspension travel in comparison to other vehicles. I am confident I can inspect and opine on the possible issues associated with the tire wear issues in these vehicles.

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