The first sentence in the ABC News story should send chills to everyone who drives, “because of a badly flawed and archaic government recall system, millions of potentially dangerous recalled tires remain on the roads, on store shelves for sale, or simply unaccounted for.” In fact, the problem is so severe and the potential risk exposure to hundreds of millions of drivers has caused the federal government to investigate.
The investigation comes in the wake of a deadly auto accident in Lake City, Florida, an accident involving a tire that had been recalled and should have been off the road. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, roughly one out of five recalled tires are still on the road today. The ABC News investigation was able to find recalled tires for sale in retail outlets from Atlanta and San Francisco. “According to the NTSB’s Karol, there are “400 to 500 deaths a year, at least, from crashes involving tire-initiated events,” including tires that could have been under-inflated, punctured or suffered from other pre-existing problems.”
What is even more troubling is that the tire companies are fighting legislation to limit the age of tires on the road. “American tire companies have helped to defeat proposed laws in eight states that would require inspection of tires for age. […] The tire industry trade group, the Rubber Manufacturers Association, says the six-year limit is ”an arbitrary date” not supported by facts and has hired lobbyists to defeat laws that would require mandatory inspection of tire age.”
Another aspect of concern is the consumers ability to determine the age of their tires because of a “code” tire companies and Department of Transportation put on the tire.
This image shows all of the numbers on the tire and what they mean. Belle Tire educates their customers on the different numbers, including how “DOT NJ HR 2AF 5203” is suppose to inform the consumer what kind of tire, where it was made and 5203 being that is was manufactured in the 52nd week of 2003.
Many consumers are unaware of the tire age or that even if the tire has not been on the road for many miles, certain conditions can still degrade the tire. Tire age and safety is a large concern and consumers need to be informed before more deadly accidents occur. For more information about tire safety, be sure to visit the SaferCar website provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.safercar.gov/tires/index.html.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. has in the past and currently handles defective tire cases. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by a defective tire, please contact us immediately. Tire cases are complex and require immediate attention and experienced attorneys.