There is nothing worthier than the life of a human, and putting your life in danger due to aging tires could compromise your happiness in life. At any step of life, a person would agree to pay all the money he has earned to get some of the basic organs that we are already gifted by birth, and neglecting this just to save some money on the aged tire is opposing the blessings of God.
Not every time the cause of an accident is an aging tire. Still, sometimes, due to the misconduct of product development, tire manufacturers use cheap ways to produce tires, which cause tread separation and belt removal from moving tires, which is far more dangerous than a blown tire.
In this case, you can put the company liable for their misconduct and hold them against the court of law. There are different types of legal action that you can take against the manufacturer of the tire or reseller if there is negligence from their end.
However, sometimes the problem of blown tires is not due to their build but because of the conduct of a tire; that is why you have to take care of tread depth, tire age, weather conditions, and other recommendations that tires come with to avoid a breach of contract with the manufacturers.
In this article, we will explain what aging tires are, what causes oxidation and tread separation, maintenance tips to avoid damage and buy tires properly, and finally, we will explain what legal actions you can take against your loss.
Table of Contents
Understanding Aging Tires
Aging tire is among the top causes of tire failure in the United States; the number one cause of aging tires is the weather. According to the NHTSA report 2007, 27% of policyholders from all weather US states accounted for 77% of claims nationwide, and the root cause of these claims was aging tires older than six years, which holds 84%.
As the above picture states, road accidents have been a very disturbing topic, mostly caused by tire-related incidents. That is why keeping a close eye on tires, especially older ones.
Aging tires can easily noticed by tread wear, damaged rubber, damaged sidewalls, or tire age. You can see the tire built period on your tire sidewalls because sometimes, none of the noticeable factors can be seen on the tire, but the tire has already run for over six years.
How to identify aging tires
You can see the age of the tire manufactured on the sidewalls in numbers written after DOT; it is written in a format like this: 0911, which means the tire was manufactured on the 11th week of 2009, so if the tire is more than six years old, you should replace them even if they are still in good shape and tread levels.
How to identify Defective tires
Thousands of claims have been filed against manufacturers due to the defective build of tires, and some of the manufacturers have lost as well because it is the responsibility of tire manufacturers to drop tires after proper inspection and regulations defined by standards.
Identifying defective tires is more complex than defining tire age; it requires machinery and advanced equipment to process tests and quality checks on tires, which means it is only possible to find defective tires if they are visible on top.
The federal rules have been defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to regulate the safety of drivers on the road. The administration has clearly defined the rules, and tire manufacturers are bound to follow these instructions; otherwise, the tire will not be able to proceed in the market. In any case, if the manufacturer does not regulate and launch the tire for public use, the tire manufacturer will face charges even if the driver raises no claims.
These are some of the test inspections and many other manufacturing and labeling requirements, which you can find in detail on the FMVSS 139 report. If someone goes against these tire laboratory procedures, their tire will not be certified by NHTSA and is considered unsafe to drive on national highways and city roads.
With federal safety laws in the US, states also define their specific rules based on the weather and driving conditions of the roads. State laws are not based on quality assurance and control of tire manufacturing. They are most likely related to tire categories, tire accessories, and other use cases of tires.
State laws are usually based on the usage of studded winter tires, tire chain usages, tread depth requirements based on the weather and road conditions, speed range, and tire age. Unlike federal laws, state laws do not care about the load capacity, speed range, and tire size labeling; state laws also change based on conditions as well.
Liability for Individuals and Businesses
Personal Injury Claims
Aging tires can lead to accidents you might not have imagined before because aged tires, after oxidants contact, get weakened, and most of the time, the tread gets separated and causes a blowout of the tire.
So if you were driving with worn or aged tires, and it is proved after investigation of an accident, you will held responsible for the trouble caused on the road. A person involved in an accident due to your aged tires can file a case against you, and you will have to pay for the troubles or hospital bills, depending on the charges.
Property Damage Claims
There have been dozens of incidents in the past where a driver has to pay for the property damage caused by negligent driving, and aging tire also comes in negligence driving. So, suppose you are going with worn or aged tires and have an accident with another car. In that case,
even though there might not be any injuries to both parties, you might be held responsible and accountable for repairing and replacing the parts of a car or any other property damaged by your vehicle. Which could be far more expensive than replacing tires on time.
From a different perspective, in case of a defective tire, manufacturers, retailers, and tire shops can also be held responsible for distributing tires to the general public without proper inspection. If you drive with a defective tire and it causes an accident, you get some injuries; your vehicle is destroyed. You can make charges against the manufacturer or sellers.
If, after investigation, it is proven that the faulty tire caused the accident, you will get the settlement amount with property and injury claim amounts. That is why businesses should take a proper inspection before installing tires on any vehicle. There are many examples where companies have to pay larger amounts for a small accident due to faulty tires.
Fleet management businesses can also held responsible for such incidents; if there is negligence from these companies who installed aged tires on vehicles without inspecting them, they can held accountable for the claims and chargers. Usually, those charges will come on fleet companies if an individual has charges against a manufacturer, who will redirect charges to the servicing company. So make sure that if you run this type of servicing business, make proper check and balance rules to maintain the standards.
Insurance Against Liability
Insurance For Individual
To protect yourself from any big trouble even if you are careful in other regards, purchasing a liability auto insurance can safeguard you from big expenses. In the cases above, for any damage caused by your vehicle, your insurance company, after investigation, will pay for the ransom. In this unpredictable world, it is better to have insurance cover anything that might cost you so much in the future.
Insurance for Businesses
Suppose you are running a business as well. In that case, business liability insurance will greatly help your business and sometimes save your business from bankruptcy because these charges are much higher than they cost the victim. So, finding proper insurance will not only help you financially but also help you take legal actions for yourself so you can continue working on your business.
Insurance helps in both cases, even if you are an individual who faces this trouble or a business liable for claims. So make sure to find the right plan based on your needs, which will help you much more than you think in the future.
There are dozens of tire maintenance tips, but only a few people take steps to put some effort into their tire care. Tire maintenance not only keeps your tires safe and secure, but the tire’s performance also stays stable due to proper care and maintenance.
It hardly took half an hour to inspect tire alignment and balancing properly, the tire’s tread depth, check for rubber air leaks, and clean tires. It does not mean you have to do it every day, but these inspections can save you from big troubles once a week.
With that, tire rotation and tire alignment are also necessary biannually to properly utilize the tire’s health and safety purposes. If done properly, these small things can save some big amount of money and injuries.
The government should inform drivers and resellers about tire safety, maintenance tips, and other activities to maintain tires. Because every day, many accidents happen, mostly due to tire faults. Tire age is another important aspect that should be spread because even today, only a few people look at the manufacturing date of a tire without recognizing that the old tire, even without being used, gets damaged due to oxygen and UV rays.
We have written many guides on properly buying new tires, which help drivers pick the right tire for their vehicle based on the weather and conditions. We have also guided divers on checking the tires to avoid aging or faulty tires.
Hundreds of examples are available of how aging tires cause legal action against manufacturers and resellers. One of the recent events caused Kumoh Tire to pay $3 Million to a truck driver whose truck got rolled over due to faulty tires.
At first, Kumho Tires addressed that the driver was abusing tires with heavy loads without worrying about tread depth, but at last, the court found Kumho Tires guilty and held them for 3M dollars in settlements.
Although the case ended in favor of a truck driver, at some point, the mistake was of a truck driver as well. The driver was crying tons of sand on older tires with barely any tread depth left over them. That is why make sure to check your tire’s health.
Just like this, a similar case was filed against Kumho Tire in the 90s as well, where similar charges were faced against them due to the several injuries of a driver and damage to a car; that case was quite famous because of the judgment rules were drawn on these cases by the supreme court.
So the reason for telling all these real-life examples is that anything at any time could happen, and even if you are not on the wrong side, a judgment could go against you. So make sure you choose the right car insurance and liability insurance if you are an individual or a business; it will help you when nobody else will.
Aging tires or defective, faulty tires are one of the top reasons for road accidents, and every day around the world, many people lose their lives, get injured, or damage millions of properties just because of these inexpensive tires.
Companies and individuals could be responsible for the damage an improper tire would cause to any other individual or business. And it is not predictable, so make sure to have yourself properly insured because the claims are much higher than the damage you have accidentally put.
The only way to avoid aging tires is to make a maintenance schedule for your tires in which you inspect your tires and mark out any faults you see if the damage is bigger than replacing tires because it’s not worth putting your life in danger on the road.