design defect

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A design defect means that the product was manufactured correctly, but the defect is inherent in the design of the product itself, which makes the product dangerous to consumers. For example, mechanical defects, which are common in cars and other motor vehicles.

Design defects often serve as the basis for a products liability or defective product lawsuit, especially if someone is injured as a result of the defective design. In a products liability case, a plaintiff can only establish a design defect exists when they prove there is a hypothetical alternative design that would be safer than the original design, as economically feasible as the original design, and as practical as the original design, retaining the primary purpose behind the original design despite the changes made.

[Last updated in August of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]