Auto Accidents Caused by Defective Wheels & Tires

In 2013, a class action lawsuit was brought against BMW for manufacturing and selling vehicles with wheels prone to premature cracking. Driving with a cracked wheel is a safety hazard due to the loss of tire pressure that generally ensues. In other cases, tires themselves have given rise to litigation because of tread separations, blowouts, shredding, and other issues. Defective wheels and tires are a very serious hazard for motorists and passengers alike, and it is very important to understand the warning signs and actions to take if injured.

Wheel Defects

A vehicle’s wheels require careful design and assembly in order to be safe and secure. Sometimes wheels are assembled incorrectly or carelessly during the production process. In other wheel defect cases, the wheels have been modified with custom rims or other features, or the wheels are not compatible with the hubs. With custom rims and wheels, the wheels are usually a different size and width than the original wheels, which can lead to stability issues.

Other types of wheel defects, in which the materials used to construct the wheels is weak or inferior, can cause wheel rims and tires to explode, resulting in shrapnel injuries or chain reaction accidents.

Tire Defects

Tha National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration estimates that over 11,000 car accidents occur each year due to faulty tires. Faulty, or defective, tire problems can include sidewall defects, off-center belts or conicity defects, and excessive vibration.

The most common tire defect is tread separation. You may remember the Firestone defective tire recall in 2000. It was due to tread separation. Other leading types of tire defects include tire sidewall failure and tire bead failure. Recently, Bridgestone issued a recall on their tires used on commercial vehicles. Premature tread wear is another potential tire defect. All of these issues can lead to sudden tire collapse, loss of tire pressure, and tire blowouts.

One reason tread separation occurs so frequently is that it is an inherent by-product of steel belted radial tires, which are the most common tires on the road today. Rubber does not adhere to steel, so tire manufacturers coat the steel with brass, which rubber does stick to, but brass wears down quickly, leading to other issues. Problems (i.e. defects) arise when steel belted radial tires are not built correctly and carefully.

After a tread separation occurs, the presence of a bare wire indicates that the tire was not properly cured and likely defective. If you see a brassy wire, there was essentially no adhesion of the steel belt to the surrounding rubber—which is almost always indicative of a manufacturing defect.

KWF Can Help After a Wheel or Tire Defect Accident

The lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers in Atlanta are experienced at handling car accident cases arising from vehicle defects. If you have been injured in an accident involving a tire blowout, wheel explosion, tire collapse, or other type of wheel failure, please call our law firm today at (404) 460-0101 for your free consultation. We represent clients across the state of Georgia, including residents of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb and Clayton counties.

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