In an August 10, 2015 announcement, tire manufacturer BFGoodrich issued a recall of 129,000 light commercial tires due to safety concerns regarding tread separation. BFGoodrich estimates that close to 104,000 of the affected tires were sold in the US market.
Under extreme conditions, a rupture in the sidewall of the defective tires will cause the tread to separate, leading to rapid air loss resulting in loss of control of the vehicle or crash. Currently, it is unknown whether any injuries or fatalities have resulted from the defective tires; however, it is recommended that consumers remove any recalled tires immediately and visit a BFGoodrich retailer to receive replacement tires.
Tires affected include various sizes of BFGoodrich Commercial T/A All-Season, BFGoodrich Commercial T/A All-Season 2 and BFGoodrich Rugged Terrain T/A. The recalled tires are predominately used on light commercial trucks, ¾ and one-ton pickup trucks, small RVs, and heavy-duty vans.
WHAT CAUSES TIRE SIDEWALL RUPTURES?
Sidewall or other ruptures or delaminations are often caused by poor adhesion. Tread belt separations are the most common type of tire failure and are often the result of contamination during the manufacturing process. Proper quality control practices at the tire manufacturing plants can minimize those defects. If moisture or other foreign substances or materials are allowed into the curing adhesion process, catastrophic results can follow. Litigation against certain tire manufacturers has revealed everything from chicken bones to coke cans contaminating the adhesion during the manufacturing process.
LEGAL HELP FOR VICTIMS OF DEFECTIVE TIRES
If you have the recalled tires on your vehicle, take the steps necessary to change out those tires immediately as atread separation could be life-threatening. Studies show that tread separation at highway speeds are almost impossible to control. Even trained test drivers that had knowledge that the tread was going to separate have been shown to lose control of the vehicle in tread separation simulations.
Anyone involved in an accident where a tread separation could be a problem should ensure that the tires are preserved. Immediate steps should be taken to prevent the tires from being sold to a junkyard or otherwise destroyed. If you experience problems with these or other tires, consumers are encouraged to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a tire blowout, immediately contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP to discuss your rights and legal options. We serve clients nationwide from offices in Birmingham, Lexington and Little Rock.