Most people do not associate car accidents with tire defects. However, the reality is that approximately 9% of all car crashes involve some kind of tire safety issue, so if you or a loved one were recently involved in an accident that was caused by a tire blow out or other tire-related problem, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault parties.
Common Tire Defects
Tire defects are caused by a variety of factors, including poor design, the use of faulty materials, improper storage, or a flawed manufacturing process. One of the most common types of defects is de-treading. Also referred to as tread separation, this problem occurs when the outermost tread of a tire separates from the layers underneath it and can cause rapid pressure loss and even blowouts. The subsequent loss of control frequently leads to serious rollovers and other kinds of car accidents.
Zipper failure is another relatively common type of defect and involves defective sidewalls causing tire explosion. Other commonly reported defects include:
- Tread or tensile cracks;
- Tread and steel belt separation;
- Faulty tire stems; and
- Ply separation.
Whether these problems are caused by a lack of maintenance or a defect in design or manufacturing, the results can have devastating consequences.
Defectives In The Manufacturing Process
While some blowouts are the result of a driver’s failure to perform proper maintenance on his or her tires, responsibility for others can be laid at the feet of manufacturers who used an improper design, utilized inferior materials, or assembled them improperly. These problems are much more widespread than most people know. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that since 1966, around 46 million tires have been recalled because they suffered from a serious safety-related defect.
Manufacturers are required to use a certain degree of care when producing consumer products and those who fail to do so can be held accountable for damages. Common examples of manufacturer defect include:
- Failing to install wedges and cushions at the belt edges;
- Failing to install an under tread to protect steel belt edges;
- Failing to install nylon overlay on treads;
- Using improper adhesion methods;
- Using improper curing methods;
- Using old rubber stock;
- Using petroleum solvent on tire components before vulcanization;
- Conducting inadequate final inspection; and
- Failing to prevent moisture or foreign matter from being cured into the tire itself.
Inadequate testing and quality control measures can also lead to tread belt separation and delamination, both of which can cause a loss of control when driving.
Even when a tire is properly designed, manufactured, and maintained, it can still fail if it was improperly installed. The most common mistakes include failing to recognize tire pressure monitoring systems, inserting the bead breaker improperly, failing to use the right amount of lubrication, and making balance errors. Ensuring that no hardware is missing and no studs are broken are some of the best ways to ensure that tires are properly mounted and do not later become imbalanced or come loose.
The Legal Representation You Deserve
To speak with an experienced car accident attorney about your own defect-related accident, please call Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. at 737-201-0543. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge, so please do not hesitate to call or contact us online.