What You Need To Know About Tire Failures, Defects, And Tread Separation
As a leading California auto accident attorney’s office, Nadrich and Cohen, LLP know firsthand that passenger and light truck tire tread separation are an unfortunate by-product of steel-belted radial tire technology. Industry records and the experiences of our car accident lawyers verify that tread belt separations are the most common mode of failure of steel belted radial tires. Needless to say, the results of tread separation from design and manufacturing defects can be catastrophic; causing vehicle crashes and rollovers that have resulted in thousands of serious injuries and fatalities. If you’ve been injured in an incident involving tread separation, you may be eligible for a personal injury settlement.
When the tread comes off of a vehicle at high speed, the loss of control can be due to friction or braking action as the loose tread piece strikes against or catches on the undercarriage of the vehicle. This sequence of events occurs so rapidly that it is virtually impossible to handle most high speed tread separation failures without losing control.
Manufacturing defects can be substantially rescued by appropriate adhesion, proper manufacturing practices, and adequate quality control measures. Furthermore, it has been established from the testimony of tire plant workers that tires have been contaminated by everything from chicken bones to live shotgun shells as well as other foreign materials including wrenches, gloves, screws, bolts, small wire, wood, sunflower seeds, and more. It has also been established from plant workers that outside tire inspectors are often misled by various means during inspection.
When examining a separated tire you should look closely at the separation interface to determine whether there is any rusty wire, bare wire, or brassy wire exposed. Corroded wire is usually evidence of moisture contamination during manufacturing. Bare wire is evidence of a manufacturing adhesion defect. Brassy wire is a strong indication of no adhesion.
Traditionally the tire industry has attempted to shift the burden for defective tires to the victim in the accident. They assert that tread separation is the result of impact damage or underinflation. In fact, underinflation does not cause tread belt separation in a properly designed tire. However it can accelerate separation in a defective tire. Likewise impact damage does not cause tread belt separation. Impact damage can cause failure of a tire, but it is not a tread separation failure.
Tire manufacturers often claim that damaging information contained in their records is trade secret and should not be disclosed. In fact comprehensive analysis of steel belted radial tires is reported to tire manufacturers so that they are routinely provided with the physical properties and chemical makeup of their competitors’ products. There is very little trade secret information that is not known by all tire manufacturers about their competitors’ tires.
Sadly, unless someone is seriously injured or killed they have very little recourse against tire manufacturers. Consumers should however, contact NHTSA to document their accident. You should also immediately contact our law firm to determine if you have a claim. We pursue tire failure claims nationwide if there is a serious injury or death.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident due to a defective tire or tread separation call the aggressive personal injury attorneys at Nadrich and Cohen, LLP for a free consultation at 800-722-0765.