Defective Tire Dangers
As a driver it is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle’s tires are well maintained and contain the right amount of air pressure. These responsibilities apply each time you are getting into your vehicle to turn the key. A quick review of your car’s condition before settling into the driver’s seat can actually save lives.
It is also the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that your car’s tires are manufactured properly. Likewise, retailers must maintain only quality, safe, defect-free stock for sale to tire buying customers. Auto mechanics or service providers who install tires must take responsibility when installing tires onto your vehicle, to ensure this is done properly and the tires are in good shape.
Driving with defective tires increases the risk of accidents with injuries and serious property damage. For tire related auto accidents, the chances of sustaining severe injuries is vastly increased when the accident involves a rollover.
If a defective tire has been determined as the cause of your auto accident, you need the help of an experienced auto defect attorney. Such attorneys can ensure your accident is properly investigated and determine your eligibility for compensation for the expenses associated with your injuries or property damage.
Tire Defect Associated Injuries
Tire defects often cause rollover auto accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis reported in 2012 that up to 25 percent of rollover auto accidents are the result of tire blowouts, often caused by tire defects. When SUVs are the vehicles suffering the accident, up to 45 percent are found to have suffered pre-crash tire blowouts, often due to tire defects.
The NHTSA’s report also stated that 51,687 rollover auto accidents occurring between 2005 and 2007 in the United States were due to tire related defects and blowouts.
Rollover accidents can be deadly. These types of car accidents always have the potential to cause severe injuries. Wrongful death is often the result of rollover accidents, as are the following types of injuries:
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Broken bones
• Internal bleeding
• Spinal injuries
• Dental injuries
• Facial injuries
• Fractured wrists
• Major scrapes and cuts
Rollover auto accidents are often only single vehicle crashes, meaning that they did not involve a collision with another automobile. Single vehicle accidents such as these are possibly caused by a tire blowout, tire tread loss, tire belt peel-off, tread separation, tire bead unseating and other manufacturing defects. Poor manufacturing or defective assembly can cause tire-related car accidents wherein the vehicle loses control at high speed and rolls over.
The tire manufacturer and distributor must ensure that tires are defect-free. This must happen before manufactured tires make it into consumer’s hands and onto their vehicles.
Avoid Cheap and Counterfeit Tires
When it comes to tires, you should not skimp on quality on your vehicle. This is because tires are one of the most important components of vehicle safety. But sometimes, particularly when buying a used car with tires already in place, it can be hard to determine whether the tires are of good quality.
When an auto accident occurs and is the result of a tire defect, it is also important to work with an experienced attorney. If counterfeit tires are on the vehicle that caused the accident, tracing who may be responsible for these defects can become tedious and requires industry knowledge.
Recent problems in the tire industry have led to massive counterfeiting of tires. This counterfeiting is the result of stolen manufacturer molds. Counterfeiters in countries like China use the stolen molds to create tires that look exactly like major brands’ products, even labeling the tires under those brand identities. But these tires are made with very low quality materials that are not properly molded. In essence, the entire tire is defective.
Consumer Reports magazine has covered multiple stories regarding cheap tires. This publication tested tire quality for “bargain bin” tires and found that these products are always the worst on the market. The publication often found that tires they obtained cheaply at major tire stores across the country were actually “gray market” models produced by a factory not authorized to make them, then labeled as a major brand or named using a brand so close to a well-respected manufacturer that consumers became confused and trusted the labeling.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works with federal agencies to investigate counterfeit tires on an ongoing basis. The NHTSA advises consumers to avoid buying tires through the Internet, those shipped from other countries or sold at such low prices that it seems “too good to be true.”
When an auto accident is caused by a defective tire found to be manufactured in China or elsewhere as a counterfeit, it can be difficult to trace who is legally responsible for this type of accident without the help of a highly experienced tire defect car accident lawyer. In many cases, such tire defects fall on the shoulders of the tire’s importer.
Because of the dangers of driving on counterfeit tires and difficulties in tracing who made the tire in the first place, the NHTSA advises all consumers to avoid buying cheap tires. If sale prices seem too good to be true, they probably are either counterfeits or are tires with low quality ratings.