A manufacturing defect is often what causes tire tread separation issues. Tread separation occurs when the belts underneath a tire’s tread come apart. When this happens, the tread itself begins to come off the rest of the tire. This can be especially dangerous at highway speeds. Many drivers lose control, and some vehicles crash or roll over.
Tread separation is a tire failure issue specific to modern radial tires. Most of tires on the road today are steel-belted radials. Because of the construction of these tires, they are much less likely to blow out or have other similar catastrophic failures than older tires. Tread separation, however, is much more common than many people realize. Almost all cases of what people call “blowouts” today are actually tread separation incidents.
How Common Is Tread Separation?
Tread separation is the most common type of tire failure. It occurs because of the way tire companies design and manufacture modern steel-belted radial tires. These tires feature two steel belts that wrap around the tire. The tread adheres to these belts, and this entire assembly is then bonded to the sidewalls.
Getting rubber and steel to adhere to one another requires precise chemistry and careful attention to how the components line up. Any mistakes in this process can create problematic weak spots and put the tire at risk for failure.
Because only the tread of the tire touches the asphalt, tires are under a lot of pressure at speed. This is especially true when the temperature rises outside and they run on hot roads. These factors can increase the risk of a sudden tire failure. Many people suffer injuries from tire failures while driving at highway speeds during the summer, although they can occur at any time of the year.
Who Is Liable If a Tread Separation Causes a Crash?
If we can prove a defective tire led to your tread separation and the resulting crash, we can hold the tire company responsible for the injuries, property damages, and other losses you suffered. To win a case against the tire manufacturer, we will need to show the tire had a defect instead of just being old or worn.
The key to proving a defect often lies in preserving the tire and tread. Once we prove the defect, we still need to show tread separation caused your wreck. The tire company may argue that other parties — or even your driving — contributed to the crash.
With the help of engineers, we analyze the remnants of the tire and can usually determine why it failed. We can also enlist the help of survey teams, who visit the scene of the crash to document where the pieces of the tire ended up, as well as crash reconstruction experts to help us understand exactly what happened after the tire failed.
Last, we need to document the full extent of your damages and tie them to the crash. We may request copies of the police report filed about the incident, obtain your medical records pertaining to the treatment of your injuries, and interview witnesses of the crash. We will also collect all bills, receipts, and other paperwork related to your treatment, out-of-pocket expenses, and car repairs. This is the best way to ensure you receive compensation for the full range of your losses related to your crash.
Does Tread Separation Lead to Recalls?
The risk of tread separation is a common reason for tire recalls in the United States. It pays to check for recalls on all components of your vehicle regularly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers an online recall search, as do most automaker and tire company websites.
The problematic nature of tread separations first came to the attention of many people in 2000, when the NHTSA announced one of the largest tire recalls in history. Affecting millions of light truck and SUV tires, the Bridgestone and Firestone recall made headlines nationwide.
Tread separation crashes caused numerous deaths and injuries, and manufacturers lost billions of dollars because of the recall and resulting civil suits. This recall also led to tougher safety rules for tire designers, manufacturers, and others in the industry.
How Can I Discuss My Case with a Defective Tire Attorney?
If you believe your crash occurred because of a tire separation, an attorney from Newsome Melton can review your case and see if you have a valid claim. We offer free case evaluations of all potential defective tire claims. We can help you understand the strength of your case and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 888-808-5977.
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