What options are available to a consumer who experiences an accident or blowout because of defective tires?
When an accident or blowout occurs as a result of a defective tire, there is a possibility the manufacturer can be held financially liable for any resulting damages under a legal concept known as product liability.
Bringing this type of claim (and meeting your burden of proof) can be a complex process, but luckily there are many law firms who are more than happy to handle such claims under a no-win, no-fee agreement.
There are many factors that can cause blowouts or tread separation, such as:
- Poor design
- Low-quality or inferior materials
- A failure to properly store the tires
- Flaws in the production and manufacturing process
The most common type of tire failure in steel-belted radial tires is detreading or tread separation. Detreading occurs when the outermost tread of the tire suddenly separates from the tire. There is no one cause for the problem, but rather, it can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including poor quality.
When a tire fails at speed, the driver can easily lose control of the vehicle. In many cases, this results in serious or fatal vehicle rollover accidents.
Other tire defects that are fairly common include the following:
- Bead failures
- Zipper failures (defective sidewall)
- Blowouts or punctures
- Tensile or tread cracks
- Inferior tire stems
- Separation of the ply
Tires with Known or Suspected Defects
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 46,000,000 tires have been recalled since 1966 because of serious safety issues.
When buying new tires, it’s vital that you fill out the registration form. Failure to register your tires can prevent you from being notified of any new or existing recalls.
If your tire failed and caused an accident, be sure to cross-reference your Tire Identification Number (TIN) with a list of active recalls. If you don’t know where to look, most product liability attorneys can perform this step for you.
There are far too many active tire recalls to list on this page, but here are just a few recent examples:
- In October 2016, GITI recalled 250,620 imported Primewell Valera Touring II tires, GT Radial Champiro Touring A/S tires, and Dextero Touring DTR1 tires manufactured by PT Gajah Tunggal TBK due to their propensity for developing cracks in the lower sidewall, potentially resulting in a loss of air.
- Michelin recalled 184, size 180/55ZR17 Pilot Power 3 sport motorcycle tires manufactured between April 17, 2016, and May 7, 2016 because they failed to provide the required maximum load and inflation pressure information.
- Goodyear reported the recall of 16,757 Dunlop SP 50 tires that were manufactured between December 2, 2012 and February 1, 2014. The reason for the recall is the tires may separate if they are driven with low tire pressure. This means they do not comply with the requirements of the federal motor vehicle safety standard number 139.
It’s important for drivers to remember that any time an accident occurs because of a defective tire, there is a possibility the manufacturer may bear liability.
Police will not generally investigate WHY a tire failed in a crash, so it’s important to look into every possibility. Even if you’re unsure, it’s never a bad idea to reach out to a product liability law firm in your area for a free consultation.