When Tire Defects Cause Serious Accidents

Worker is replacing a car tire

Even minor defects in a tire can cause it to falter and fail which can cause the driver to lose control over the vehicle. Motor vehicle accidents in Nevada caused by defective tires are a common cause of injuries and fatalities. When defects cause a crash, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and mechanics are potentially liable for the medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses caused by their negligence.

Old Tires on Dusty Shelves

Tire distributors and retailers have a responsibility to inspect any tire in their inventory prior to selling it to a customer. Many tires sit for months, or even years waiting for a customer to purchase it. As the tire sits on the shelf, it can deform and the rubber can age and weaken. This makes the tire inherently unsound and incapable of maintaining a safe level of air pressure. If the tire is overfilled or placed under normal driving stresses, a blowout is likely to occur. 

Design Defects

There is a significant amount of engineering that goes into every tire. This includes the chemistry that determines the composition of the rubber, the placement of the steel belt, and the pattern in the tread. If any element of the tire is poorly designed or improperly manufactured, the risk of a sudden tire failure is considerable.

Many times tire defects are caused by the decision to use lower grade, lower-cost materials. This is a costly decision that can cost drivers far more than the cost of using higher quality materials. When manufacturers choose to use substandard materials, they negligently put consumers on a dangerous road.     

Design defects can result in tread or steel belt separation. They can result in blowouts when drivers go over potholes or rough terrain. It’s a growing problem and in recent years, Goodyear and other well-known tire manufacturers have faced numerous lawsuits over design defects that have caused personal injuries and wrongful deaths. 

Maintenance Errors

Mechanics and tire technicians have a duty of care to properly inspect tires for signs of defects or damage caused by driving conditions. They should identify tire defects during an inspection, rotation, or alignment. They should also notify the vehicle owner and perform an appropriate repair. Mechanics and tire technicians who do not are negligent in their duty. These negligent behaviors can include failing to inspect a tire, failing to properly test a tire, failing to correctly inflate a tire, and failing to perform a repair.