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System to Recall Defective Tires is Broken

November 27, 2015 | Category: Tire Failures | Share

Federal officials announced in late October 2015 that the results of a year-long investigation found that the system to recall defective and potentially dangerous vehicle tires in the U.S. is “broken”. This puts motorists at risk of being involved in accidents because of defective tires.

Comments from NTSB (National Traffic Safety Board) Board Chairman and Senior Staff Officer admit the problems:

  • NTSB chairman, Christopher Hart said, “The current system for tire registration and recalls has proven ineffective.”


  • Senior staff officer, Robert Molloy said, “Based on the work we did, the system’s not working. It’s completely broken.” 

System to recall defective tires is broken - Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.The NTSB investigation was partly the result of a fatal church van accident in Florida. The church van had a defective tire of which the mechanics and church officials had no knowledge. In the accident, two adults who were church leaders were killed, and eight others, mostly teenagers, were injured.

ABC News undercover investigators found, following the accident, that there were millions of these same tires still in use, still being sold or not accounted for. According to the ABC News report:

Two key issues in particular are at the heart of the problem

  1. Recalled tires are not always caught by retailers, and there is no quick, easy or efficient way for any consumer or tire technician to check the recall status of a tire.
  1. Aged tires are sold and put into service unknowingly because the date code is buried in the Tire Identification Number, and expressed in a non-standard format. Tire age recommendations by vehicle and tire makers are not well known to service professionals or consumers.

Proposed solutions

The Safety Institute says, “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but we do need to reinvent the tire identification system, which is the basis for determining tire age and recalls. The Safety Institute supports legislation that would require that tires have a non-coded date of manufacture visible on both sides of the sidewall; that manufacturers automate the identification of tires (via scanning technology); and that NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) adds a Tire Identification Number look-up to its public vehicle safety database so that motorists can easily determine whether their tires are included in a recall.

Florida law (Statute 768.81) regarding personal injury cases related to defective products

Manufacturers may be liable if their product is defective and can be proven that the defective product was the cause an accident. The scenarios under which a plaintiff’s attorney may file a claim in Florida are:

  • Defects in manufacturing – There is an error in the manufacturing process or the assembly of a product making it unsafe for the consumer.
  • Defect in design – The original design of the product may cause the end product to be dangerous to consumers.
  • Failure to warn – If a manufacturer knows there is a defect but fails to correct the defect and warn consumers about the defect, the manufacturer may be held liable for injuries caused to consumers. 

“If you believe you have been injured by a recalled product, you should consider speaking with a lawyer. Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., has the experience needed to represent victims of defective products,” said Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney, Randall Spivey.


Fort Myers Defective Products Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.


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