Tire Defect Cases
Many aspects of motor vehicle design have visibly changed since the first motorcar hit the road in 1885. The technology and design of today’s tires are worlds away from the 19th-century models.
Tire Technology and Defective Product Claims
Modern passenger car tires and commercial truck tires have many design components. These include synthetic and natural rubber tread, nylon and steel cord belt plies for durability and high-speed use, casings containing air and regulating tire pressure, and tire beads that ensure the tire stays securely on the wheel rim. Each component must be manufactured correctly from high-quality materials, and they must be assembled and incorporated properly into a safe and effective design.
Design Defects: Manufacturers and designers are continuously refining the design of their tires so they are safer, last longer, and can be manufactured more efficiently and economically. Sometimes, manufacturers make design choices or fail to incorporate known measures that would make their tires safer to reduce production costs. Prioritizing profits at the expense of safety can lead to consumer injuries (and lawsuits).
Manufacturing Defects: Defects can occur because of natural material variations or flaws. Usually, however, manufacturing defects result from taking shortcuts and failing to adequately ensure products are safe. This can include using shoddy materials, incorporating moisture or foreign matter into the tire, failing to inspect the product properly, and other quality control issues.
Accidents Resulting from Defective Design or Manufacturing
Defective tire design or manufacturing can lead to many different hazardous conditions. These can cause loss of vehicle control, especially at high speeds, and can lead to collisions or rollover accidents. Common dangerous tire issues include:
- Tread or belt separations.
- Tire bead failures or
- Tire blowouts.
Other issues can arise from defects in the tire inflation monitoring system, resulting in underinflated tires and dangerously low tire pressure.
Tire Aging Cases
Did you know that tires expire, even if they aren’t used? It’s true! Although there is no set standard for when a tire should be retired, most car manufacturers and tire makers suggest a maximum lifespan of six years.
Don’t take chances with old tires. Tires past their prime can be inefficient at best and dangerous at worst. They can cause your car to handle and perform poorly, decrease fuel efficiency, and even cause accidents. Environmental damage can lead to cracking, loss of elasticity, and tread or belt separation—hazards that may be impossible to discover with a visual inspection.
So how do you know how old a tire is? Every tire has a DOT (Department of Transportation) number printed on the side. If this code is four digits, the first two numbers represent the week the tire was made, and the second two numbers represent the year (5021, for example, indicates a tire made in December 2021). If the code is three digits, the tire was made before 2000 and should not be driven on.
Automobile manufacturers must properly warn consumers about the recommended maximum lifespan of their new tires. If they fail to do so, a consumer involved in an accident caused by old tires may have a claim against them. Claims related to tire age are also common against service stations that replace a tire after a puncture or blowout with an older tire and fail to inform and warn the driver.
Did a Tire Defect Cause Your Injuries?
If you have suffered injuries in an auto accident caused by a defective tire, you should retain legal counsel immediately. Car manufacturers and tire companies have teams of attorneys protecting their interests. You need a trial lawyer who will relentlessly fight for you. Contact The Cooper Firm today for a free consultation.