The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently called for mandatory tire registration in the United States, calling the nation’s current system ineffective. Tire failures—such as blowouts or tread separations—cause catastrophic accidents that claim the lives of approximately 500 Americans each year. The NTSB hopes that mandatory registration will make it easier for tire manufacturers to alert consumers of recalls, as well as provide them with important information on the risks associated with tire aging in an effort to reduce tire-related crashes and fatalities.
Limitations of the Current Tire Registration System
Federal law used to require all tires to be registered, but in 1982 the law was changed from mandatory to voluntary registration, which resulted in a startling drop in participation. Prior to 1982, as many as 50 percent of tires were registered; after the law changed, registration rates dropped to less than 25 percent.
Tire manufacturer-controlled dealers and distributors are still required to register all newly purchased tires, but independent tire dealers and distributors are not held to that requirement. This makes it difficult—if not impossible—for manufacturers to contact consumers in the event of a product recall, meaning that a large number of unsafe tires remain on the road. In fact, according to the NTSB, only 20 percent of recalled tires are returned to the manufacturer, compared to a 78 percent participation rate for vehicle recalls.
The lack of mandatory tire registration also makes it difficult for manufacturers to convey information to consumers about tire aging, which can lead to tread separation—even if the tread itself does not appear worn.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by defective tires, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for compensation. Because tire-related accident cases can be complex, having experienced legal representation is essential. The knowledgeable attorneys with Kaufman Law have handled personal injury cases for more than 35 years and are ready to help you pursue any compensation you may deserve. Call our office today for additional information or a free case evaluation.