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Have You Been in a Car Accident? It Could Be Your Tires' Fault.

Have You Been in a Car Accident? It Could Be Your Tires’ Fault.

November 12, 2015
Mitchell Byrd, Attorney, Carolina Law Group, Greenville, SC

Mitchell Byrd, Attorney, Carolina Law Group, Greenville, SC

Drivers should be aware of how many faulty tires are on the road, as they result in tens of thousands of accidents each year. A persistent question remains: if your tires are recalled, would you know about it? According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), most people would not, “because manufacturers have no way to contact most tire owners.” NTSB senior staff officer Robert Molloy stated that the system is “completely broken.” If you have been in a car accident that may by the result of faulty tires, CONTACT US TODAY.

NTSB investigators found that only one in five defective tires is actually taken out of service, even though 3.2 million tires were recalled between 2009 and 2013. According to NTSB data, 80 percent of recalled tires do not get fixed. This remains so, despite the fact that there are 33,000 accidents and more than 500 deaths a year as a result of tire problems. Police investigations of accidents do not typically involve an inspection of the car’s tires, even though 56 percent of recalled tires remain in use, according to the NTSB. Often, tire defects are not visible – so people will continue driving with faulty tires, without realizing there is a problem. An ABC News investigation even found that some recalled tires are still being sold at retailers.

Most tires are sold through independent dealers (meaning that they are not owned by tire makers). The NTSB is proposing a registration system for tire owners – to ensure that owners can be contacted in the event of a recall. The NTSB also proposed Tire Identification Number look-ups on manufacturers’ websites, so that consumers could check the status of their tires, or “scan-able codes to help auto shops quickly identify the tires.”

Such regulations will likely take several years before they are in place, because although the NTSB can issue safety recommendations, the traffic safety administration is responsible for actually  issuing safety regulations. Drivers can opt to register their tires with manufacturers by sending in their name, address, and tire identification number (found on the tire sidewall, with the letters DOT). Based on the NTSB’s data, it appears that few people have done so. If you believe you have been in a car accident as a result of faulty tires, please contact our office TODAY.


Mitchell Byrd received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wofford College in 2000. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2004, where he served on the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate, and Trust Journal. He was also an active member of the University of South Carolina Moot Court Bar. Since being sworn into the South Carolina Bar in 2004, Mr. Byrd has focused on litigation, within the criminal justice system as an economics crime prosecutor for the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and also within the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system.