So much depends on your tires, and when a product defect manifests in a dangerous consequence like tire tread separation it can lead to severe injury or death. Improper repairs can also cause tire tread separation, which may lead to blowouts or other dangerous driving conditions. In a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, drivers who suffered a tire tread separation experienced a loss of control up to 68 percent of the time.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by negligent product design or maintenance, you should not be left to pick up the pieces on your own. The makers and distributors of defective tires and those you trust with your vehicle have a legal responsibility to ensure that your tires will not fail. And an experienced law firm like McEldrew Young Purtell will make sure that the big companies responsible for tire tread separation accidents won’t be able to hide behind denials and legal defenses.
Source: Wikipedia, shared under CC-BY 2.0 license
What Causes Tire Tread Separation?
Modern tires are deceptively complex products, unlike the tube-filled tires that people still sometimes picture them to be. The modern tire has a few different components which need to permanently adhere to each other in a precise manufacturing process, and checked on by experienced maintenance workers on a periodic basis.
All of these parties potentially share responsibility for tire tread separation accidents, whose causes may include:
- Improper inflation of the tire
- Driving over potholes or objects
- Poor tire repair
- Exceeding recommended mileage
- Manufacturer’s defects
- Misleading marketing
- Design defects
Signs of Tire Tread Separation
Drivers who lose control of their vehicles while driving are more likely to have a car crash or rollover accident, which not only puts their safety at risk but also that of fellow motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. And a common defense in tire tread separation cases is negligence on the part of the motorist.
To show that you have done your due diligence as a driver in a tire tread separation case, you must demonstrate an awareness of these signs:
- Vibration while driving
- Bump or bulge on tire
- Sidewall irregularities
- Uneven wear on tire treads
How Manufacturing Defects Can Lead to Tire Tread Separation
Tire tread separation is a widespread problem in the tire industry, kept out of the public eye by a failure to properly report on the extent of the problem (although the law requires tire manufacturers to do so). Every so often the extent of the issue surfaces, like when Firestone made its largest-ever recall of 14.4 million tires in the early 2000s due to tire tread issues, but only after they had led to 148 deaths.
Various product liability issues came to light during the recall — and in Firestone’s subsequent finger-pointing at Ford, where they blamed their tires’ weaknesses on the vehicles they were designed for.
A tire is a complicated product which requires exact conditions during the manufacturing process to make sure its rubber treads stay attached to its steel frame. Some of the most notable failures in Firestone’s manufacturing process included:
- Storing unfinished tires on the floor and allowing debris to stick to the them, which harms the rubber adhesion process
- Allowing hot and humid conditions inside the plant, which also harms the adhesion process
- Requiring tire builders to build about 100 tires per hour
- Giving tire builders bonuses for exceeding their quotas
- Attempting to fix defective tires
- Failing to sufficiently inspect tires
Source: Pxhere.com, shared under CC0 license
The Injuries Tire Tread Separations Can Cause
Tread separation accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and death. According to the NHTSA, 738 American drivers died in 2017 due to tire-related crashes.
When to Consult with an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
At McEldrew Young Purtell, we have over 30 years of experience in litigating product liability cases. We take all claims on a contingency basis, and will only charge you attorney fees if we are able to obtain financial compensation for your losses.
McEldrew Young Purtell welcomes clients local to our Philadelphia offices and those from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and further afield. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.