Car and truck tire tread separations are an unfortunate by-product of steel-belted radial tire technology. It is extremely difficult to adhere rubber to steel and all steel-belted radial tires have the potential for tread separation. The danger of tread separation increases at high speeds and in hot weather.
Tire tread belt separation is the most common mode of failure in steel-belted radial tires. This is a result of both design and manufacturing defects. Some recent examples of tire separations are the Firestone ATX and Wilderness tires on Ford Explorers, Continental General tires on Lincoln Navigators, the Firestone Steeltex tires on Excursions, and the Goodyear Load Range E tires on most 15-passenger vans.
When your tires fail to function properly, i.e., when they don’t remain inflated and intact, tire makers and car manufacturers who use the defective tires will blame drivers, the vehicles, and road hazards for the failures before they take the blame themselves.
All tire manufacturers and car makers know that steel-belted radial tires fail. Blowouts and accidents caused from tire separations are foreseeable events that are well known in the auto industry. At some point, tires will fail to do their job. Most times, this failure comes after the tire is worn out and needs to be replaced. There are many times, though, when new tires fail. When this happens, your family can be in serious danger and the car makers know this.
Tire makers also know that tire tread separations are a contributing factor in many roll over crashes. SUVs have a higher center of gravity than cars and are prone to roll over. When a driver loses control because a tire has separated at high speeds, it is nearly impossible to keep the SUV from rolling over.
Although drivers clearly play some role in every car accident, evidence is mounting that tire tread separations can and do cause vehicles of all types to respond in uncharacteristic and uncontrollable ways when tire failures occur at highway speeds.
Tread belt separations on steel-belted radial tires are usually the result of poor bonding during the manufacturing process. This can be caused by any of a number of factors:
- Bonding problems can result from using a bad formula that does not bond well.
- Contaminants inside the tire resulting from chemicals and products that are not supposed to be used such as: polypropylene to separate the rubber and water that will weaken the bonding.
- Contaminants in the tires that have no business being in a tire-making facility such as candy wrappers and tobacco juices.
- Lack of “tackiness” because of using old ingredients.
- Air trapped between layers of the tire.
- Improperly sized strips used in building the tire.
Tire manufacturers and car makers will go to great lengths to prevent you — the public– from finding out their “trade secrets,” even if that means placing your family in danger. Litigation is often the best way to get tire manufacturers and car makers to change their unsafe practices.
If you or a loved on has been seriously injured in an accident caused by a defective tire, you may have recourse against the tire maker and the car manufacturer. You should contact the NHTSA to document the accident, and then find an experienced attorney to help you with your claim. The lawyers at BISNAR | CHASE are experienced auto defect litigators and may be able to help you recover your losses, and hold the tire makers accountable.
Read about more auto defects that could be placing your family in jeopardy at auto safety litigation. You may be surprised by what you find out.