Old tires have been the subject of growing concern by auto safety advocates. Extensive research has proven that physical and chemical properties of tires change over time, causing them to degrade after six years – even if tires haven’t been used. The average consumer is well aware of how to inspect tire tread depth, but has no idea that, regardless of tread, old tires can become brittle and separate on the road. The industry is well aware of the issue and the dangers but is reluctant to put uniform guidelines in place.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) has conducted tests on new tires to determine a baseline for their durability and may pursue a test this year to simulate aging. The agency will begin requiring manufacturers to print the manufacture date on tires, beginning in September 2009. The 2003 NHTSA study determined that the average tread life of a tire is 44,700 miles. The problem lies in that, sometimes, cars are rarely used, leaving aged tires on a low-mileage car. Or, a consumer may put a spare tire on the car only to have the tread separate after a short period of use.
Both automotive manufacturers and tire makers are now acknowledging and beginning to warn of the potential for tire failures to occur due to the degradation of tires that naturally results over time as rubber gets older.
If you determine that your tires are 6 years or older, you may be at risk of a tire related failure or tread separation as a result of its age, and you should consider changing your tires immediately as a safety precaution. . If an accident results when a tire with good tread separates or fails then the age of the tire should be examined to see if aging played a role. In these cases, a failure to warn claim may exist.
As Aged Tire attorneys we can help
If you or someone close to you has been involved in a tire-related accident which resulted in a serious injury or wrongful death, contact us for a free evaluation of your case. As tire lawyers we have extensive experience in litigating accidents involving aged tire claims, and stand ready to bring our knowledge and expertise to bear for consumers injured in accidents where tire failures or tread separations have occurred.