Defective Tires Kill 500 a Year, Recall System Isn’t Working
We all know how important tires are on cars, motorcycles and trucks, but I doubt if many of us know how deadly blow outs can be.
At a recent meeting in Washington DC, the National Transportation Safety Board heard defective tires cause 500 plus deaths and cause more than 33,000 accidents a year.
As if this was not frightening enough, officials heard that the federal recall system that is supposed to keep potentially dangerous car tires off the highways is “completely broken.” Investigators found that just one in five defective tires was being taken out of service under the recall system. More than half of recalled tires remain in use.
This is highly alarming to read. While federal regulators have become tougher with car manufacturers in recent years after mass safety recalls by General Motors, Toyota, and Chrysler, the recall system for tires appears to be in disarray.
“Based on the work we did, that system is not working,” stated Dr. Rob Molloy, acting director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety. “It is completely broken.”
The regulator says tire manufacturers are simply not able to reach tire owners to warn them about the dangers. Incredibly, independent tire dealers do not have to register the tires they sell with manufacturers, so most of them do not. A massive 3.2 million tires were recalled between 2009 and 2013, but most motorists who are driving on defective tires are unaware of the dangers.
These dangers are not merely theoretical. Real examples were given at the hearing, including that of a van with some passengers on board that crashed in Lake City, Florida in 2014. The driver was worried that he might have an issue with a tire. However, it was an internal defect, and he kept on driving. The tire eventually failed, and the van flipped over. Two passengers were killed, and eight were injured in the subsequent wreck.
The most frightening aspect of this report is that thousands of us could be driving around with defective tires that could blow out and cause a potentially fatal accident. We may also know of people who have been hurt in accidents that involved defective tires.
It’s important that the public becomes more aware of this issue. “When you see 33,000 accidents a year, in relation to defect tires, we know we have a serious tire problem, and a good piece of that relates to recalls,” NTSB Chairman Chris Hart told ABC News.
Our Virginia personal injury lawyers have helped clients who have been injured due to tire defects. All cases are different and unique, and we can’t guarantee the same result in any given case, but we secured a $650,000 jury verdict for a client whose leg was broken in two places after being hit by a MACK truck that suffered tire separation.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a defective tire or a defective car, call us at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com