Tread Separation and Loss of Control
Most people have heard or read about the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire litigation involving tread separations of tires, loss of control and serious crashes or rollovers. Firestone is not the only tire manufacturer that has made defective tires. What most people don’t know is that in this day of mass production, tires are still made one at a time by individual tire builders. If the rubber stock is contaminated, not cured properly, not heated and melded together properly or if the steel belts are not properly placed inside the tire, that tire is subject to a failure called tread separation. Even if a tire is properly built and designed, once a tire reaches a certain age, it is prone to a tread separation no matter how many miles have been put on the tire. Therefore, a tire that has acted as a spare for many years and appears to have good tread depth can be extremely dangerous and separate solely because of its age.
The tire industry has known about the dangers of aged tires for a long time but has not informed the consuming public about this insidious danger. A tread separation is different from a blowout. In a blowout, typically the tread of your tire stays on and the tire goes flat. A tread separation may not result in any deflation of the tire. The tread comes off and that one wheel now has slippery steel belts on the road instead of tread. Testing has demonstrated that when a tire suffers a tread separation the vehicle becomes unstable and the opportunity for the driver to regain control is severely compromised. This can lead to a loss of control. Once that happens, the driver becomes just a passenger and the occupants are at the mercy of whereever the vehicle wants to go.
In SUVs, a tread separation substantially increases the risk of rollover both on and off the road. If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed in an accident involving a tread separation you should take steps to preserve the remaining tire on the wheel and any remnants of the tread that separated completely from the tire.
The team at Brent Coon and Associates understands the science of tire building and tire defects. We consult with a team of tire experts that will evaluate a tire tread separation involved in a crash resulting in serious injury or death. We want to help you and do our part to hold the tire manufacturers accountable for the consequences of defective and dangerous tires.