Car Accidents Caused by Tire Defects
Between 2009 and 2013, more than 3.2 million tires were recalled in the U.S. due to dangerous defects, reports the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Shockingly, only 20 percent of affected tires were returned to manufacturers, leaving millions of motorists vulnerable to life-threatening harm. Beyond manufacturing tire defects, drivers are at risk of problems with detreading and delaminating, which can also lead to catastrophic accidents.
If you or someone you love has been harmed in an auto accident that you suspect was caused by a faulty tire, call The Salamati Law Firm to learn more about your rights to compensation. Sean F. Salamati is a highly experienced car accident lawyer in Los Angeles who boasts a long track record of significant settlements and verdicts. Negligent manufacturers should be held responsible for the injuries and losses caused by their defective products, and our firm possesses the resources and litigation expertise to achieve maximum recovery.
Types of tire defects
Negligent design and manufacturing flaws are major factors in many types of tire defects, which can cause blowouts, sudden loss of air pressure and tread separation.
Some of the most common kinds of tire defects include:
- Tread and steel belt separation, where the plies of a tire separate exposing the cords
- Bead wire failures – when the bead wire is abnormally weak, the tire can explode when overfilled with air
- Tire sidewall failure also known as a zipper failure can occur due to defective siding that explodes during inflation
- Retread failure
- Improper adhesion between belt and rubber
Tire manufacturing defects can be reduced by ensuring that proper manufacturing practices and quality control measures are in place.
Are you driving on a defective tire?
Considering the numerous tire recalls issued by manufacturers such as Goodyear over the past few years, consumers should inspect their tires regularly, ensure they are properly inflated and educate themselves on recent recalls.
Signs of defective tires include:
- Uneven tread wear that is worse on shoulder compared to center
- Bubbles or blisters in tire tread
- Cracks in sidewall
- Excessive vibration
- Sidewall deterioration and discoloration
- Unusual marks on the tire rim flange
- Signs that bead wire has pushed against the inside rim, creating a groove
Tire related accident statistics
Good, normal tires have a lifespan of roughly six years, after which they are more prone to self-destruction at high speeds. The first signs of tread separation are not always noticeable and may not be caught until a serious or even fatal car accident occurs. Some drivers are able to manage tread separation without crashing, but this is not always the situation.
According to the latest tire blowout accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, blowouts cause more than 78,000 crashes every year, and are responsible for some 400 fatalities.
How many accidents are caused by bad tires?
Chris Hart, Chairman of the NTSB, reports that an estimated 33,000 vehicle accidents are caused each year by defective tires, underscoring the need for better manufacturing oversight and recall procedures. In 2015, NTSB officials estimate that at least 400 to 500 deaths were attributed to crashes involving tire-related events.
Tire failure causes
Tire failure may be caused by:
- Negligent manufacturing practices
- Poor craftsmanship
- Faulty components
- Defective design
- Adhesion failures
- Tread detachments
- Overloading with too much weight
- Under inflation
- Excessive wear and damage
What is the leading cause of tire failure?
The leading cause of tire failure is tread separation, followed by blowouts and under inflation, reports the NHTSA. During the hotter summer months, officials caution about the dangers of driving on under inflated tires, especially at highway speeds. Motorists can help prevent blowouts and unexpected failures by ensuring tires are properly inflated and maintained.
Driving on faulty tires increases the likelihood of being involved in a serious accident. The following are recent tire recalls issued by US manufacturers.
- 2009 – Firestone recalls more than 125,000 FR 380 tires, size P235/75R15, manufactured from September 2007 through July 2008 due to risk of tread distortion and separation.
- 2013– Michelin recalls 1.3 million LTX M/S2 tires, produced between January 2010 and 2012, because of defects that can cause tread separation and loss of vehicle control
- 2015 – Goodyear recalls 16,000 Dunlop SP50 tires, size P205/70R15 95T, manufactured from December 2012 through February 2014, due to non-compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) safety standards
- 2016 – Goodyear recalls more than 1,500 G399A LHS tires, size 295/75R22.5 LRG, made from January 2016 through May 2016 due to poor adhesion that may increase risk of tread separation and crashes
Also worth mentioning are Goodyear’s Load Range “E” tires, manufactured between 1991 and 2001. While these tires have not been officially recalled, they have been attributed to at least 87 accidents and 18 deaths that are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company is now facing nearly 50 product liability lawsuits alleging tread separation due to tire defects.
Who is legally responsible for my tire blowout accident?
Allegations of defective design and defective manufacturing are common themes in tire accident lawsuits. When companies put profits over consumer safety, corners are often cut to help reduce expenditures. This, in turn, can lead to gaps in quality control in the design process and product assembly in manufacturing plants.
All product manufacturers are under legal obligation to notify consumers of potential defects with their goods and issue recalls in a timely fashion. In some situations, claims filed because of tire explosion accidents resulting in injury or death may prompt manufacturers to recall their products. Other liable parties may include auto manufacturers, in the event a faulty tire came standard with a new vehicle.
Attorneys at Salamati Law work diligently to assure clients recover the compensation they deserve in the wake of a tire defect accident, which can help recover costs for lost income, medical bills, pain and emotional trauma, property damage and other losses.
Will car insurance cover tire blowouts?
Whether causes by worn tread, tire defects, under inflation or other issues, tire blowouts are usually covered by comprehensive insurance policy coverage. This type of coverage is intended to help motorists pay for accidents that result from acts of nature or were totally unavoidable. Because every carrier is different, consumers should always discuss the details of policy coverage to ensure that blowouts are covered.
Speak with a knowledgeable tire defect lawyer today
Tread separation and tire failures caused by defects cause thousands of needless injuries every year. To discuss your legal rights with a skilled attorney free of charge, we invite you to call Salamati Law at 888-259-4060. If your injuries and losses warrant civil action, we will explore the value of your claim and legal strategies for obtaining the highest settlement or verdict possible.
Defective tires accident resources
- ABC News, Goodyear Tires Draw Lawsuits, No Recall http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=125159
- CBS News, NTSB: Recall system for defective tires is “broken” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dangerous-tires-recall-system-is-broken-ntsb-says/
- NTSB, NTSB Passenger Tire Safety Report Cites Deficiencies in Registration and Recall System; Highlights Tire Aging and Maintenance http://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20151027.aspx