Tires provide traction and steering, and they are the point of contact between a driver and the road. However, a defective tire may cause your car to lose control, resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. Tire-related accidents are common, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting tires are to blame for 35% of auto accidents involving a defect in a vehicle.
If the accident investigation showed a defective tire caused your accident, you might file a product liability claim against the tire’s distributor, manufacturer, or retailer. Detroit product liability lawyers at Fieger Law can help you file your claim.
Signs a Crash Was Caused by a Defective Tire
Even with regular maintenance and inspections, you may experience a blowout and be involved in an auto accident. Here are some of the signs that a defective tire caused your accident.
● Tread separation
Modern tires are steel-belted radials made of steel belts coated with rubber. A design or manufacturing defect can lead to the tread separating. Driving with tread separation can result in a serious accident if drivers lose control.
● Bulges and blisters
Bulges and blisters on a tire’s sidewall indicate potential weak spots that may have caused tire failure. A product equipment flaw causes the tire plies to not align exactly under the rubber. The bulge then appears on the tires’ weakest points where there are thin or non-existent casing plies under the rubber.
Debeading occurs when defective tires separate entirely or partially from the rim at the level of the tire beads, resulting in an immediate loss of tire pressure. This contributes to vehicle rollovers.
● Lack of quality control and production
A lack of quality control and oversight of production procedures can allow moisture, foreign matter, and other impurities to be absorbed into the tire. These contaminants lead to tread separation when driving with the tire.
● Retread failure
Tire tread peels off in small pieces due to adhesion failures in retread tires. This means there is no steel in the split rubber if the pieces break off the tire, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
● Oversized tires
Many manufacturers of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have increased the size of their tires to give their cars a rough and rugged appearance. If an SUV has larger tires, they have a lower center of gravity and therefore lower side frictional forces. This poses a risk of the vehicle rolling over on the wheels as they slide sideways on the road.
● Old tires
New tires could become defective after sitting on a shelf or in a warehouse for a long time. Tire retailers can be held responsible if they sell tires that are too old to be safe. Also, an auto repair shop could be liable if an aged tire is installed on your vehicle or not removed when maintaining your vehicle.
● Mismatched tires
The wrong tires can compromise steering and control, leading to a serious crash. The service facility may be liable if it installs mismatched tires or fails to identify and remove mismatched tires while maintaining the vehicle.
Which Tire Manufacturers Had Tire Recalls?
You can look online to see if your tires were part of a nationwide tire recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a list of tire recalls by thousands of tire manufacturers. New complaints and recalls for popular tire brands and sizes are announced every year.
Your lawyer can review the list to see which tire manufacturers might be held accountable for your injuries. If your tires were subject to a recall, you can discuss your options for legal recourse, including filing a product liability claim.
Work With an Experienced Product Liability Lawyer
A knowledgeable product liability attorney at Fieger Law with experience in tire defect cases can provide you with legal advice anywhere in the U.S. We can interview expert witnesses who can perform a comprehensive forensic examination of the road and check your tires for defects.
Get in touch with our law office today to schedule your free consultation.