Tire Defects Law Firm

Inadequate Quality Control Procedures at Tire Factories Affect Customers Safety

When a tire fails, the consequences can be catastrophic. Responsible tire manufacturers understand that and take steps to ensure that the tires that leave their factories will resist failure. Responsible tire manufacturers also pay their workers adequately; allow sufficient time to build each tire; maintain modern, properly-functioning equipment; provide decent working conditions for their workers and check outgoing tires for quality.

Unfortunately, some manufacturers fail to do these things. Too often, tires fail because manufacturers fail to follow these basic, commonsense rules.

Where Tire Companies Go Wrong

Some manufacturers don't treat their workers right. The manufacturer may skimp on the salaries of their tire builders, paying the builders for the number of tires they produce and forcing them to build too many tires in too little time. The result is that tires don't get built correctly.

Other manufacturers force their tire builders to work in extremely hot conditions-sometimes exceeding 90°F-which makes the workers sweat onto the tires they're building. The sweat then prevents the layers of the tire from bonding together. As a result, the layers of the tire may come apart while the customer is driving-causing a dangerous tread separation. The customer who buys the tire will not discover these problems until the tire fails. Of course, by then it's too late.

Other manufacturers fail to maintain the factory or keep equipment up-to-date. Some factories have roofs that leak when it rains causing rainwater to trickle onto the rubber and the equipment used for making tires. Like the sweat from perspiring workers, the rainwater prevents the layers of the tire from bonding together and can cause a tread separation.

Some factories have outdated, antiquated tire building equipment because the manufacturer simply won't spend the money to keep the equipment in good working order.

Many manufacturers fail to keep their factories clean; when the sticky rubber that will become part of a tire brushes across the floor or another surface, it picks up trash and debris. Like the moisture from sweat or rainwater, the trash and debris prevents the rubber from bonding together-putting the customer at risk of a dangerous tread separation.

A Simple Fix - Tire Quality Control

Effective quality control procedures keep customers safe but too many manufacturers don't check their tires closely before tires leave the factory. Effective quality control includes, for example, checking the steel belts to make sure they're positioned correctly.

  • When the steel belts are misaligned-i.e., are "snaked"-the mismatched belts prevent the layers of the tire from bonding together.
  • When the steel belts aren't stacked correctly-i.e., the "stepoff" is insufficient-the discontinuity creates air pockets between layers, which also prevents bonding.

In either case, the result is that the customer is at risk of a tread separation. Adequate quality control procedures would eliminate that risk.

What We Can Do About It

At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we know what the inside of a tire factory looks like. We've talked to tire builders, rubber mixers and quality control inspectors. We've cross-examined tire experts, tire engineers, and factory managers. We've even forced tire makers to allow us into their factories for inspections. In short, we know what to look for and we know how to get it-which is why we win cases.

The attorneys at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, have done battle against most major tire manufacturers, including Bridgestone/Firestone, Cooper, Dunlop, Goodyear, Hankook, and Michelin/Uniroyal/BF Goodrich. We know how to find and use the evidence you'll need to prove a defective tire caused your injury. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car wreck and a failing tire could be involved, call Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, at 800-213-5343 or leave a message through our website. The initial consultation is free.