Tire Failures and Tire Blowouts

Tire defects, such as tread separations that may cause blowouts, will severely limit the control a driver has over his or her vehicle.

When a radial tire suddenly loses its tread, the driver suffers a far higher risk of control over the vehicle. A tire blowout, or rapid pressure decrease in the remaining core, is often associated with a loss of tire tread, and drastically increases the chance of a dangerous rollover, particularly when it happens to rear tires driving at highway speeds. Loss of control can result in the rear of the vehicle swinging around to become perpendicular to the direction of travel, also known as yawing. If the yawing is not immediately reversed, then the sideways motion often leads to the tire bead separating from the rim, allowing the rim to dig into the pavement, which can propel the vehicle into a roll.

Rollovers may also happen if the vehicle comes into contact with grass, dirt or other drastic surface changes while in sideways motion. Grass or dirt actually “trip” the vehicle, launching it into a rollover. “Tripping” occurs when there is a sufficient amount of sideways movement while the vehicle transitions into a grass or dirt median from normal pavement.

Tire manufacturers have known for a long time that a leading cause of tread and belt separations is inadequate design and placement of the belts and overlying tread. Poor adhesion of the tire components can also be at fault, and may be the result of the following factors:

Of all the known problems that can cause belt separation, failure of the metal tire components to stick to the rubber is the most common. The method frequently used to bond these parts involves plating the metal with brass, then applying a rubber compound containing sulfur. If the mixture isn’t properly balanced, then incomplete adhesion occurs. This can also happen when brass plating oxidizes. Check for a shiny appearance, as it may indicate a deficiency in the tread bonding process, which could also be compounded by other defects.

Tire Construction Diagram:

Some tire manufacturers choose to cut costs and do not include the nylon overlay component as shown in the illustration above. Firestone ATX tires are one example of tires that do not include this important stabilization feature.

Help with Tire Defect Litigation

Steven J. Sharp Award winner Willis Law Firm defends tire defect cases involving tire failures, tread separations, tire blowouts, roof crushes and rollover accidents that directly led to injury or death. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of such an incident, please call us to discuss your legal rights to a potential product liability lawsuit. We have over 30 years of experience and Martindale-Hubble honors to serve you at every step of the litigation process. To schedule a consultation with us as soon as possible, please call us toll-free at 1-800-883-9858 or fill out this online form.

Steven J. Sharp
Public Service Award

Mr. Willis received this award for his work in uncovering the truth behind the 2001 Ford Explorer and Firestone litigation that resulted in millions of tire recalls.

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