The sole question presented upon this appeal is the validity of the judgment of nonsuit. Plaintiff’s case turns upon his own testimony and that of a mechanic. If the evidence of these two makes out a case of actionable negligence and proximate cause against either or both defendants, the plaintiff is entitled to a new trial; otherwise, the judgment of nonsuit must be sustained.
The term negligence as used in the law of torts lends itself to a wide use of language, but all the definitions employed by the courts and used by the textwriters revolve around want of due care or commensurate care under the existing circumstances. In Broughton v. Oil Co., 201 N.C. 282, 159 S.E. 321, actionable negligence is defined to be “ The failure to observe, for the protection of the interest of another person, that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, whereby some other person suffers injury.’ Cooley on Torts (3d Ed.), pp. 1324, 1325.”
Plaintiff’s right of recovery and defendants’ liability for damages in this action are predicated upon allegations that defendant manufacturer failed to exercise due care in the construction, manufacture and installation of the steering assembly in the automobile, and that defendant dealer failed to inspect, discover and warn plaintiff of such defects.
Plaintiff testified that soon after he purchased the automobile and drove it, he discovered the lost motion in the steering wheel; that he waited until time for the 500 mile inspection to report this condition to the dealer and although he thereafter found that the condition was not corrected, he continued to drive the car until time for the 1,000 mile inspection, when he again reported the condition; that although he knew *91of tbe adjustment at tbe bottom of tbe steering column and tbe use for wbieb it was intended, be continued to drive tbe automobile in bis business at tbe rate of about 4,000 miles per month for a part of tbe time. With full knowledge of sucb lost motion as be bad discovered in tbe steering apparatus, plaintiff never manipulated tbe adjustment at tbe bottom of tbe steering column so as to remove tbis fault, nor does tbe evidence disclose tbat be requested anybody else to make tbat adjustment.
Notwithstanding tbe mechanical knowledge tbe plaintiff bad of automobiles, including steering assemblies, and notwithstanding bis knowledge of tbe lost motion in tbe steering wheel, be continued to use tbe automobile for nine months, and at tbe time of tbe accident and injury was driving at a speed of 50 to 55 miles an hour on a damp road while a mist of fog or rain was falling and while atmospheric conditions were so unfavorable as to require tbe use of headlights and windshield wipers. From tbis, it would appear that even with tbe plaintiff’s expert knowledge of automobiles, be did not regard tbis one as dangerously defective or out of repair. It does not clearly appear from what source came tbe sound resembling tbe breaking of a Coca-Cola bottle. It does appear, however, tbat when plaintiff touched bis brakes, be got tbe impression tbat they locked and tbat tbis was responsible for tbe accident. Tbe mechanic who examined tbe ear after it was taken to tbe Chevrolet place in Liberty also thought tbat tbe difficulty arose from tbe locking of tbe brakes, but when the steering gear was disassembled and examined by tbe plaintiff after tbe accident, be then concluded tbat tbe steering gear in tbe bousing bad locked and was responsible for tbe accident.
Plaintiff’s entire evidence, including tbe testimony of bis mechanic, fails to show tbat there was any defect in tbe material used in tbe steering equipment or tbat any improper parts were used in its assembly or tbat anything was left out or omitted. Tbe mechanic testified tbat a steering assembly has too much loose motion “if it don’t fit good and tight. If it fits too high, I don’t know what it would do.” Tbe plaintiff himself said tbat tbe steering apparatus was too loose and bad too much play on left turns, and tbat tbis condition bad continued from tbe time be purchased tbe car up to tbe time of tbe accident.
Upon an examination of tbe gears before tbe jury, plaintiff testified tbat “there is nothing wrong with those gears, but tbis wheel on tbe secondary shaft, you can see on tbat where it ran up on tbe worm in tbe steering shaft and bursted tbat out there. . . . There is an adjustment at tbe bottom of your bousing . . . and when tbis wears you can take up tbe lost motion and keep you from having to get new stuff put in, but tbis one never bad been moved; there was too much motion in there on tbe left turns at tbe time because it didn’t fit tbe secondary shaft.”
*92Whether the failure of the steering gear to fit as indicated by the plaintiff and his witness was due to natural wear or hard and fast driving or lack of lubrication is left in doubt. There is a complete absence of testimony that any cotter key or other essential part of the mechanism was left out, or that any improper parts were used. There is no substantial evidence that there was anything wrong with the steering equipment of the automobile at the time it was sold to the plaintiff, nor is there substantial evidence in the record which tends to prove that the condition in which the steering mechanism was found after the accident was due to any fault or negligence either of omission or of commission on the part of either of the defendants. Shroder v. Barron-Dady Mot. Co., App. 111 S.W. 2d 66; O’Hara v. Gen. Motors Corp., 35 F. Supp. 319; Bird v. Ford Motor Co., 15 F. Supp. 590; Supera v. Moreland Sales Corp., 56 P. 2d 595; MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050; Davlin v. Henry Ford & Son, Inc., 20 Fed. 2d 317.
Negligence is never presumed from the more fact of an accident or injury. The plaintiff has the burden of establishing by appropriate proof not only negligence but that such negligence was the proximate cause of the injury complained of. The plaintiff must also establish by his evidence a causal relation between the alleged negligence and the injury upon which a recovery is sought. Evidence that merely takes the matter into the realm of conjecture is insufficient. Rountree v. Fountain, 203 N.C. 381, 166 S.E. 329; Lynch v. Telephone Co., 204 N.C. 252, 167 S.E. 847. Plaintiff’s evidence at most raises a suspicion or a conjecture, but fails to establish actionable negligence or any causal relation between the condition of the automobile when it was purchased and the accident resulting in plaintiff’s injury more than nine months later.
The cases cited and relied on by plaintiff are factually distinguishable.
For the reasons stated, the judgment of the court below must be
DeviN, O. J., and JOHNSON, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.