How to Identify Tire Defects and Tire Tread SeparationLast updated on: June 28, 2021
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with faulty tire lawyers about tire tread issues and other tire defects
Car accidents happen all the time. Drunk drivers, distracted drivers, people running red lights or stop signs and speeding, and drivers losing control of their vehicles on wet or icy roads all create constant hazards you must watch out for every time you get behind the wheel. With all these dangers from inexperienced, careless, or negligent drivers facing you, you should not have to also worry about your tires being faulty or defective and causing a wreck while you are driving.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident that may have been caused by faulty or defective tires, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced faulty tire attorneys. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
how tires are made
While tires may appear to be fairly simple, round, rubber objects with grooves, they are actually complex objects containing many components even though you may only see that outer layer, known as the tread. Indeed, the tread is actually the final component that is added to the tire, as due to the nature of their use, they are constructed working from the inside of the tire towards the outside.
Most people are aware that the primary material in tires, found in many of the different components, is rubber. However, the actual design of the tire is often the more misunderstood or unknown process, as the inner liner of the tire is the first thing to be formed, given that it is the inside layer of a tubeless tire. Next, the “bead” is installed, which is a rubber-coated loop of steel cable that helps the tire stay on the wheel.
Rubber-coated cords, known as “plies” are then run across the tire to help strengthen it and increase its durability. Once the plies are in place, the belt is added; belts are layers of interwoven materials such as steel or fiberglass, and help protect the tire as well as aid in providing traction. Finally, the tread is connected to the side wall of the tire by a shoulder.
After these components have been assembled, they are then heated and molded together into their final form in a process known as vulcanization. While manufacturing flaws during any point in this process can cause a tire to be defective, many steel-belted tires suffer defects caused by the tread and belt failing to properly bond during the manufacturing process. This defect can cause a tire to suffer tread separation, which can be very dangerous and may cause an accident.
tire tread issues
The tires on your car are not only critical for your car’s performance, but for your own safety as well. It is important to ensure your vehicle’s tires are always adequately maintained and properly inflated. Tires which are underinflated can cause a variety of undesirable and even dangerous effects.
When tires are underinflated, this may cause the sidewalls of the tire to flex or bulge; this can make it difficult to safely control your vehicle, while prolonged use of an underinflated tire can cause excessive heat build-up to occur. Meanwhile, driving on underinflated tires can weaken the tire further, making it much more likely that the tire will fail while you are driving, possibly resulting in an accident. Accidents are more likely to occur due to underinflated tires if you are unable to maintain or regain control of the vehicle and safely come to a stop without crashing into another vehicle or object.
Are your tires defective or underinflated?
Are your tires defective or are they merely underinflated? Periodically check your tires for signs that they may be underinflated. If any of these signs are present, your tires may be underinflated and pose a danger to you, any passengers in your vehicle, and others on the road:
- Uneven tread wear
- Excessively worn tread
- Bumps or bulges in tread
- Cracks or cuts in the tire sidewall
- Vibrations while driving
If you notice any of these signs of irregular wear present on your tires, check the pressure of the tire immediately. If the tire pressure is below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended levels—often found on a sticker inside the door frame of the driver’s side door of your vehicle—inflate the tire to the appropriate pressure.
If the tire has become damaged from prolonged use while it was underinflated, you should replace the tire instead to avoid the increased risk of tire failure while driving. Cars manufactured after 2008 are usually equipped with automatic tire pressure sensors that will alert you if a tire is underinflated, but you may also use a tire pressure gauge to determine if your tires have adequate pressure.
Maintaining your tires at the correct pressure will help prevent accidents, as well as improve your gas mileage and improve the life of your tires. Even when the correct pressure is maintained, however, tires will eventually wear down over time and use, and they will need to still be replaced periodically.
How do you identify defective tires?
Defective tires can lead to accidents, many of which may result in death; therefore, it is to our benefit to identify defective tires before placing them on our vehicles. Unfortunately, it is near impossible for most drivers to spot a tire that has a defect; they do not usually find out until it is too late, after being involved in a crash.
If a manufacturer discovers one of their products may have design or manufacturing flaws, they may choose to recall those products to avoid potential liability for any tire tread issues or other hazards caused by defective tires. Sometimes they offer to exchange the potentially dangerous product for a safe one.
While the far-reaching recalls issued by Bridgestone/Firestone are a recent example, many companies have manufactured and sold defective tires before later issuing recalls, including:
These companies and more have all recalled defective tires in past years. If you have been involved in an accident that may have involved a faulty or defective tire, a faulty tire attorney may be able to help you determine if your accident was caused by a defective tire. If so, an experienced lawyer who has been retained by you will be able to help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries or damages.
Tire tread separation
Tire tread separation can be especially dangerous if it occurs while you are driving at high speeds, but in reality, it can cause serious and potentially life-threatening accidents if it occurs at any time while you are driving. As a result, you should know how to identify tire tread separation before it causes an accident as well as how to prevent tire tread separation from occurring.
What Is Tire Tread Separation?
Tire tread separation happens when the tire tread has become separated from the body or casing of the tire itself. Most vehicles on the road are made using steel-belted tire tread technology, which refers to the way in which the tire tread is fused to the steel tire casing; this method of tire manufacturing is difficult and complex, resulting in the possibility of tire tread separation in any tire, but especially at high speeds or in hot weather. The bond between the casing and the tire tread may become compromised and result in tread separation because of various reasons, such as:
- Tire abuse
- Manufacturing defects
- Incorrect flat repair
- Excessive tire wear
How to Prevent Tire Tread Separation
To avoid tire tread issues like tread separation, you should learn how to identify the signs that your tread may be separating, so that you can avoid driving on a dangerous tire. By understanding the warning signs of tire tread separation, you may be able to avoid an accident and resulting injuries or costs.
- Your car may begin shaking at a certain speed, generally between 10 to 40 miles per hour, with the shakes varying from small vibrations to more violent shakes as the separation worsens.
- There may be a puncture or bubble along the sidewall or the tread of the tire.
- There may be a wavy pattern noticeable in the tire tread; the treads should always remain parallel and align straight.
If you do notice any warning signs of tire tread separation, you should immediately remove the tire from your vehicle and replace it with a new one, or use an alternate vehicle to take the tire to an auto shop for a repair or to purchase a new tire.
Often, if tire tread separation happens while you are driving at high speeds, the driver may first hear a noise that sounds like a loud thump shortly before losing control of the vehicle. This is caused by the tire tread separating from the tire casing, resulting in a friction or braking action as it gets caught in or hits the undercarriage of the vehicle. The vehicle may then swerve in the opposite direction after the driver attempts to correct the braking action of the vehicle.
Contact a defective tire attorney today
Given the seemingly endless dangers drivers face on the road because of the negligence of other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or government agencies responsible for maintaining the roadways, you should not have to also worry about the safety of your own tires. When you purchase tires for your vehicle, you expect them to perform as advertised. Unfortunately, some tires may be faulty or defective, leading to dangerous results such as a rim explosion, tire blowout, or tread separation.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by faulty tires, you should contact the skilled faulty tire lawyers at Zinda Law Group immediately to discuss your legal options and whether you may be entitled to compensation. While every case is different and depends upon the unique facts and circumstances of the accident, your lawyer can use their knowledge and experience gained while helping other car accident victims to help you pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries or damages.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.