An accident involving a 3-wheeled vehicle resulted in personal injury and property damage. Analysis of the failure by direct observation, optical microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and techniques involving mutual indentation hardness shows that the accident resulted from fatigue fracture in a ball-joint socket at one end of a strut connecting the frame to the rear axle. Absence of a suspension system in the vehicle was the most likely single cause of the fatigue fracture.

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