Tire tread problems and other tire defects can cause catastrophic tire failure. Some manufacturers understand this risk, but attempt to cut costs by manufacturing low quality tires or rims. Fortunately, the manufacturers and others involved in sale or maintenance of defective tires can be held financially responsible when injury or death result from the defective tire.
Back in 2000, after the well known case of the Firestone tire defects became public knowledge, Congress acted to make more stringent manufacturing requirements for consumer tires. This has increased the potential for liability for tire manufactures.
Tread-belt separation is the most pervasive of tire defects for passenger cars and light duty trucks, with steel belt radial tires. These are also often the most destructive types of defects, because when separation occurs vehicles can become uncontrollable, even for the most experienced of drivers. Tread-belt separation often causes a situation worse than a blowout or flat at highway level speeds; this is because the tread completely separates, exposing the lower belt directly to the road. This causes a dramatic shift of the vehicle to the side of the defective tire. In many instances the tread or belt that separated can wrap around other vehicle parts, which can make the vehicle behave even more erratically. These types of defects can cause rollovers in vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as SUVs.
Many design features can reduce the likelihood that the tread will separate. An effective inner liner of the tire will prevent the movement of air that could make the tread more susceptible to damage due to oxidation. The design of the steel belt edge can affect tread durability. If the belt is not cut at the appropriate size it can scrape away the rubber components of the tire. A belt wedge or cushion can also significantly improve the safety of a belt. Unfortunately, many manufacturers opt not to install cushions or reduce their size in their products, in order to cut costs.
If you have been harmed due to defective tires contact a Palm Beach County defective tire attorney to explain your legal options. You may be eligible to receive a lawsuit or settlement from those responsible for the sale or design of the tires. To learn more contact the Palm Beach County tire defect lawyers at the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. Call 561-832-4848 today. We serve Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and all of South Florida.