A car’s tires are one of the most important pieces of automotive equipment, as they are the only part of the vehicle that touches the road. Consumers, tire manufacturers and car manufacturers alike have a duty to make sure that a car’s tires do not reach a level of damage that will endanger the lives of the driver or passengers.
Consumers must inspect their car tires regularly and pay attention to tire failure warning signs such as cuts or cracking of the sidewalls, uneven tread wear, excessively worn tread, bulges or blisters, and excessive vibration. These are often caused by improper inflation, misaligned wheels, damaged tires, or suspension problems. Improper inflation, specifically under-inflation, is a common cause of tire blowouts. Additionally, poor manufacturing and/or design also cause tire failure and/or blowouts.
A tire manufacturer is expected to use quality materials and to provide accurate specifications for all of their tires. Tread separation, which leads to tire failure and/or blowouts, is often caused by poor manufacturing. Using old or expired adhesives, unclean manufacturing facilities, or even improper temperatures can cause tire tread and belt separation. Poor quality rubber can also cause tire failure. Manufacturers are also responsible for determining the appropriate tire pressure. If the established psi is incorrect, the chances of a tire blowout increase, as do the chances of losing control of the vehicle and even rolling over.
Car manufacturers often set the specifications, such as tire pressure, for the tires to be used on their cars. It is common for auto manufacturers to ask for tires with adjusted specifications rather than to make changes to the actual vehicle, as was one of the alleged accusations during the Ford and Firestone tires controversy. If a tire manufacturer sells a poorly made or designed tire and tire failure occurs, the tire manufacturer may be held liable. If a car manufacturer alters a tire’s original specifications and tire failure occurs, the auto manufacturer may be held liable. If a car company uses a poorly manufactured or defectively designed tire and tire failure occurs, both the tire and car manufacturers may be held liable. Both the tire and car manufacturer may be liable for using a tire that has a manufacturing defect or a design defect.
The Firestone and Ford controversy demonstrated the dangers of tire failure. Approximately 250 deaths and more than 3,000 serious injuries resulted from these tire failures. If you or loved has been injured in a Georgia car accident that was caused by tire failure, the skilled Atlanta auto accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C., can help. We will investigate the cause of your tire failure to determine fault so that you may pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights at 866-249-5513 or 404-995-3955.