Americans drive three trillion miles a year, every inch in reliance on their tires. Nobody thinks much about their tires — you fill them up with air, change them when they are flat, rotate them, and replace them when you can see all of Lincoln’s head on a penny. Even the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration doesn’t tell consumers and owners of cars, SUVs, passenger van, or trucks to do much other than regularly check tire pressure and follow basic maintenance like balancing and alignment.
But there’s so much more to tire safety — much of it unknown to the public. Tires are much more prone to detreading, delaminating, and blowouts than the tire manufacturers admit. Defective tires, without any fault on the part of the driver or owner of the car, cause thousands of motor vehicle accidents every year, many of them resulting in catastrophic injuries. Tire failure problems are magnified in vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as an SUV, truck, or passenger van, because the loss of control a tire failure creates is harder to manage in those vehicles.
What You Need To Know Right Now If You’re Considering A Tire Defect Or Rollover Lawsuit
Chances are, if you’re reading this page, you or someone you loved was in a serious accident involving a tire failure. If that’s the case then you need to do one important thing right now: make sure the tires and the vehicle are preserved. Call your insurance company. Call the police investigating the case. Call the towing service that took the vehicle. Call the junkyard. Whoever it is, call them and make sure they keep the tire and the vehicle intact. Do not let the vehicle or tires be sold or destroyed.
We are frequently contacted by people who had a loved one seriously injured or killed in an accident that sounds like a tire failure, or which the police or state troopers have already said was a tire failure — but if we don’t have the tire itself, we won’t be able to prove what really happened. If you hire us or hire another law firm, you are going to need those tires, and you are going to have to make sure the vehicle, too, hasn’t been sold off or demolished.
Take action now to preserve that evidence, because you can be quite sure the insurance companies, the tire companies, and the car companies aren’t going to do it for you.
The Primary Cause Of Tire Failure Accidents: Tire Tread Separation Caused By Glue Adhesion Failure
Tire defects are due to perhaps most commonly, ineffective adhesion, usually as a result of the glue’s age or poor bonding of tire components during the manufacturing process. When tires are being made, moisture, impurities, and other foreign materials are capable of entering the mix and get cured into the tire. Tire manufacturers have known about these types of problems for years, but have failed to correct them, or to use better designs less prone to failure, like improving skin stock, which can better bond rubber to the steel.
As Beasley Firm attorney Max Kennerly has discussed, Goodyear’s lawyers have been sanctioned by federal courts for concealing damning information about the safety of their G159 tire. Shockingly, tire manufacturers even take steps to conceal the age of their tires, because old tires are the most dangerous tires, because time, heat, and friction all contribute to break down the adhesive holding together the tire’s tread structure. Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Toyota all say that tires should be changed every six years, but the tire manufacturers still give consumers the dangerous misimpression that tires can last ten years, and then go out of their way to make it difficult for consumers to know the ages of their own tires.
Holding Tire Companies Accountable For Putting Profits Ahead of Safety
Most times, when a tire fails on the road, the people in the car are scared, and maybe the car sustains some damage, but they survive, deal with the insurance company, and move on. Other times, however, a tire separation can be life-altering or fatal: for example, accident testing shows that a rear tire failure at high speed (like on the interstate) is virtually impossible to control. As the NHTSA found in simulations of tire separations, even a driver who knows they’re going to experience a tread separation usually can’t control their vehicle when it happens, particularly if the tread separation involves one of the rear tires. People believe they can handle it when a tire goes out, until it happens to them — and that’s when the tire company needs to be held accountable for causing the crash.
Some tires and vehicles are worse than others, for example, the Ford F-250 truck, which has a hydroboost in the suspension that contributes to problems when the driver tries to respond after a tire detreading or blowout. Recently, the Michelin Tire Company was ordered to pay $11.96 million dollars when a jury determined that a defective tire caused a crash of a Ford F-250 pickup that killed 6 people and left a 12-year old boy paralyzed. The jury determined that a manufacturing flaw in a Goodrich tire made by South Carolina-based Michelin North America substantially contributed to the crash. The attorneys for the wrongful death victims’ estates found out that leaks in the roof of the Tuscaloosa manufacturing plant damaged the machinery used to make hundreds of those tires. The driver of the pickup truck could not have even known of the danger.
Since 1958, The Beasley Firm has fought for the rights of injured victims and their families. Our product liability lawyers successfully handled hundreds of product liability cases involving the most serious injuries, like paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death, and our clients have been awarded in excess of $2 billion dollars since 1958. Our defective tire accident lawyers handle cases against all the major tire manufacturers, including Bridgestone, Firestone, Michelin, General Tire, Continental Tire, Cooper Tire, Kumho Tire, B.F. Goodrich, Uniroyal and Titan Tire. For a free, confidential consultation please contact us online or toll free at (888) 823-5291.