A car owner hears funny sounds from her engine compartment but continues to drive. The sounds are the result of a defective manufacturing process that resulted in abnormally weak engine blocks and faulty valvetrains. Because of these defects, she's driving one day, and the car throws a rod right into her face, injuring her severely. She sues the auto manufacturer and establishes that the car was manufactured defectively, and that the defect caused her injury. The car company argues that, because she was unreasonable in not reporting the noise, she should not prevail. What's the best that the auto company can hope for?
The auto company actually can reduce the driver's responsibility under comparative fault principles, even though the driver's cause will not be barred altogether.