Negligent Brake Servicing Leads to Family's Injuries

This case study explores a family's injuries due to brake failure, allegedly caused by a repair shop's negligence in not replacing low brake fluid.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Mechanic servicing car brake fluid

Case Overview

This case involves a family who suffered injuries due to their vehicle’s brake failure while navigating a descending highway. Prior to the incident, the driver had reported to the repair shop that the brakes felt squishy. Despite noting a recommendation for brake fluid replacement, the repair shop failed to service the brakes or replace the fluid.

It is alleged that this negligence fell below the standard of care expected from an automotive repair service. An expert in automotive engineering was sought to review the case and provide insights into the potential consequences of driving with low brake fluid.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

Can you describe your professional background in automotive engineering?

I hold an associate degree in automotive technology and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. I am also an ASE Master Light/Medium/Heavy Duty Service Technician with over two decades’ experience. My career includes 13 years as an assistant professor teaching automotive technology at a reputable college.

Q2

What are the potential consequences of driving a vehicle with low brake fluid?

Driving a vehicle with low brake fluid can lead to air entering the system, which could result in ‘squishy’ brakes. This scenario might explain what the driver experienced in this case. However, I would need to review more records and inspect the vehicle for a comprehensive understanding.

Q3

Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, please elaborate.

Yes, I have reviewed at least two light-duty vehicle cases involving brake failure, along with numerous heavy-duty vehicle cases with similar issues.

About the expert

This expert boasts over 15 years of experience as an automotive technician, supplemented by a BS in Mechanical Engineering from a renowned university. They hold ASE Master Automotive and Heavy Truck Technician certifications, with additional qualifications in various vehicle systems including engine performance, transmissions, suspensions, brakes, and electronics. Their extensive career includes roles as a Master Automotive Technician for major dealerships, an Assistant Professor of Transportation Technology at a reputable college, and currently serves as a Project Manager at a private automotive consulting firm.

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