The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandate the registration of tires. The NTSB argued that the nation's current tire registration system is inadequate and ineffective, making it difficult for tire manufacturers to relay important information about product recalls and the risks of aging tires to consumers. The recommendation aims to reduce the number of tire failure-related car accidents and fatalities in the United States. Currently, approximately 500 people die in tire-related crashes each year.
Limitations of Voluntary Tire Registration
Some people might be surprised by the push toward mandatory tire registration, but prior to 1982, mandatory tire registration was the norm. After the federal law changed, allowing for voluntary tire registration, participation dropped by more than half—from an approximately 50 percent participation rate to less than 25 percent.
Dealers and distributors controlled by tire manufacturers are still required to register all newly purchased tires on behalf of consumers, but independent dealers and distributors are not required to do so. Since independent dealers and distributors account for a large portion of tire sales in the United States, this makes it almost impossible for tire manufacturers to contact consumers when a recall occurs. On average, tire recalls have a participation rate of just 20 percent, compared to 78 percent participation for vehicles recalls.
Because most tires are not registered, manufacturers also have no way of contacting consumers with important information about the risk of driving on aged tires. Old, degraded tires can cause tread separation or blowouts, which can lead to catastrophic accidents. These potentially deadly accidents can occur even if the tire tread doesn't show visible wear.
Did Faulty Tires Cause Your Car Accident?
If you or someone in your family sustained injuries in a car accident caused by defective tires, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. However, because tire-related accident cases can be complex, it's important to have an experienced attorney by your side. The knowledgeable legal team at Steinberg Injury Law has been fighting for personal injury victims since 1982, and we’re ready to help you secure any compensation you may deserve. Contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.