Almost all tires manufactured today are steel belted radial tires, and the most common result of a defect in a steel belted radial tire is a tire tread separation. Tread separation, where the tread physically separates from the main carcass of the tire, usually occurs when the rubber used to make the tire does not bond or adhere properly to the steel belts. A defect can occur as a result of poor decisions in the design stage or because of poor quality control and shortcomings in the manufacturing process.
Design defects that contribute to tread separation include deficient skim stock and the lack of nylon overlays. Improving the skim stock can lead to better adhesion or bonding of the rubber to the steel, and a nylon overlay, or “safety belt” between the tread and the steel belts, can also make tread separations less likely.
Tire tread separation, which causes the tire to blow out, often results in a catastrophic, single-vehicle accident.
In the manufacturing process, poor adhesion is often the result of improper curing, the use of over aged “dry” rubber stock, the presence of solvents on tire components prior to vulcanization, or because of the introduction of debris into the tire at the plant while the tire is being cured.
Tire tread separation at highway speeds can dramatically affect the ability of the driver to maintain control of the vehicle, which often results in a catastrophic, single-vehicle accident. Tire failures are also more likely to lead to rollovers when they occur on a vehicle with a high center of gravity such as many popular sport utility vehicles. And, unfortunately oftentimes there is little sign or warning that your tires are in danger.
Examples of tires that have had tread separation linked to design or manufacturing defects include the Firestone ATX, Firestone ATX II, Goodyear Load Range E tires typically found on 15 passenger vans, Uniroyal-Goodrich tires, Firestone Wilderness tires, Continental General tires, Firestone Steeltex tires, Cooper tires, B F Goodrich tires, Bridgestone tires and others.
As Tread Separation attorneys we can help
If you suspect a tread separation to be the cause of a catastrophic accident resulting in severe injury or death, contact us for a free evaluation of your case. As tire lawyers we have extensive experience in litigating tread separation cases, and stand ready to put our knowledge and expertise to work for consumers injured by defective tires.