Old Tires Sold as New
You’ve probably seen or heard advertisements for numerous auto care and repair shops such as Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, Just Tires, and many others. They constantly remind you of the need for new tires to keep your car running smoothly, and more importantly, to keep you and your family safe
Even Unused Tires May Be Dangerous
However, if you haven’t carefully examined your newly purchased tires, you could be at serious risk of an accident from tire failure. Even “new” tires purchased from a reputable tire company or repair shop could be putting you in significant danger of a serious accident. When a company sells a “new” tire, they sell a tire that has never seen a single mile of asphalt, as you might expect. But there is another major concern when purchasing a tire that many companies don’t expect you to know.
Believe it or not, much like many other products, tires have an expiration date. Even if a tire has never been used on a vehicle, it might still be unsafe to put into service.This is due the nature of rubber itself. Rubber is used in tire construction because of its ability to flex, stretch, and conform to different surfaces. In addition, it sticks to road surfaces extremely well, making it ideal for maintaining traction, even in wet conditions. As tires age, however, these crucial properties of the rubber begin to weaken, meaning that tires become hard, less flexible, and are at substantially higher risk for one of the most dangerous tire failures: tread separation.
Expired Tires Can Cause an Accident
Tread separation can occur for a number of reasons, one of which is due to weakened rubber in the tread losing its structural integrity. Tires are constructed in a layered design. The outermost layer is the tread, a thick rubber layer that cushions the wheel and provides traction. Underneath the tread, however, are other materials, such as steel belts, which make up the internal structural support of the tire, and other thinner internal tire plies, usually made of steel, nylon, or polyester. .
When the aged, weakened rubber is subjected to the forces of driving, stretching and twisting, expanding and compressing, heating and cooling, it can begin to crack, and eventually it can become separated from the other layers of the tire. Once this occurs, the tread is ripped away from the rest of the tire due to the force of rapid tire rotation, and the tire can rapidly disintegrate as the lower layers are shredded by the road surface. If the vehicle is moving at average or high speeds this can cause sudden loss of control, and most likely, a serious accident.
How to Determine Tire Age
When purchasing a new tire, take a moment to examine the tire sidewall. On the side of the tire should be a section that includes the letters “DOT”, signifying that the tire meets or exceeds U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards, and shortly after, a 4-digit number which identifies when the tire was manufactured.
- The first two digits show the week the tire was manufactured.
- The last two digits show the year the tire was manufactured.
For example, a number of 0316 would mean that the tire was made in week 03 of 2016, the third week of January 2016. When purchasing a tire, make sure the year of manufacture is no more than 6 years prior, as it is around this time that the rubber in the tire begins to degrade, making the tires no longer safe. Since many consumers are unfamiliar with this information, it is not uncommon for these old tires to be sold as “new”, and this poses a significant risk to drivers and their passengers. Unsafe tires mean unsafe driving conditions, and when combined with the everyday risks of driving, it can spell disaster in the form of a serious accident.
Get Help From Our Expired Tire Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have suffered an accident due to tire failure or tread separation, and think that it might be due to being sold old, unsafe tires, we can help.
Contact our expired tire lawyers today for a 100% free consultation. We can answer any questions you may have and help determine if you have a case. We also operate on a contingency fee basis – this means we don’t charge any fees unless we win. Let us help you make it right and seek the compensation you deserve after an accident caused by old tires. Call 800-863-5312 today to get started.