It’s been several months since we surveyed top automotive executives and insiders on the major legal issues facing the industry for our 2023 Automotive Trends Report.
As the automotive world continues to evolve and navigate a shifting legal landscape, we look at some of the major themes driving it forward… and the ones that might be in the rearview mirror.
Today, Derek Whitefield and Tamara Bush dive into the major Risk and Litigation issues impacting the automotive industry.
Liability falling on automakers
Our 2023 Automotive Trends Report forecasted “autonomous technologies” to be the top litigation risk facing the industry this year—six months later, this prediction appears to be coming to fruition. While the person behind the wheel has traditionally borne most of the responsibility for automotive crashes, the proliferation of Automated Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) is swinging the pendulum in the other direction. Liability is increasingly shifting from the individual to the manufacturer (or ADAS supplier) for not preventing crashes, and consumer expectations must be managed appropriately.
Pandemic-era court clog ups
Three years after COVID-19 paralyzed the U.S. justice system, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Many jurisdictions prioritized criminal cases over civil cases during the pandemic, resulting in a considerable backlog of automotive matters. But with suspensions for filing deadlines being lifted, and health and safety disruptions becoming far less common, automotive cases are reaching trial in a reasonable timeframe again.