Defective tires remain on the road due to defective recall system
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has described the recall system for defective tires as being “completely broken,” according to the Seattle Times. The NTSB’s report points out serious flaws with the current recall process, including a lack of mandatory registration for new tires and a lack of clarity for consumers looking to find out if their vehicle’s tires have been recalled. Perhaps the most serious concern raised by the report is the fact that the majority of defective tires remain on the road due to inadequacies with the recall system.
Defective tire recalls
Tire dealers are not required to register the tires they sell with manufacturers. Without tires being registered, manufacturers have difficulty contacting consumers when a tire product has been recalled. As a result, many consumers are driving cars with defective tires without being aware of the risk. According to NBC News, the report urges regulators to make tire registration mandatory.
The NTSB estimates that the current recall system only leads to one out of every five recalled tires being taken off the road. Another 24 percent of defective tires are removed for other reasons, like wear and tear. Overall, however, 56 percent of tires that have been recalled remain on the road.
The NTSB says that over 500 people are killed and 19,000 are injured in tire-related accidents every year. However, because of a lack of data it is impossible to tell what share of the 33,000 tire-related accidents that occur annually are linked to recalled tires. The NTSB did, however, point to individual cases to show how dangerous recalled tires can be.
In 2014, for example, two people were killed and eight injured in Florida when a 15-person van flipped over after its tire failed. The driver had suspected a problem with the tire after feeling the vehicle shake, but because the defect was internal he was unable to spot the issue when he pulled over to check. Despite having been recalled the year before, the tire had not been registered and thus the owner had not been notified about the defect.
Personal injury law
Defective products, as the above story shows, have the potential to lead to dangerous and even deadly incidents, especially if those products are linked to motor vehicle accidents. While it is imperative that effective recall systems be in place to protect consumers when problems come to light, it is just as important to hold manufacturers accountable if they fail to design and produce products to the necessary safety standards in the first place.
Anybody who may have been injured by a defective product should contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with cases related to product defects. The right attorney can assist injured victims with whatever claims they may have and help them understand and protect their rights throughout the claims process.