Peril on Wheels

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Car tires are often overlooked when it comes to your automobile, but let’s face it, you are not getting anywhere without them. They are the less sexy, workhorse on your vehicle.  It is imperative that your car tires are safe and reliable. Consumersearch.com tells us your brakes, steering and ride comfort all have to do with the quality of your tires.

“This week’s National Transportation Safety Board NTSB, report on tire recalls is disturbing,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance.

The NTSB reports, only one in five defective tires is being removed from the road through the safety recall process. They claim tire manufacturers are unable to contact most tire owners and warn them of a recall.

Another 24 percent of recalled tires experience damage or are removed from the road due to normal wear and tear. That leaves 56 percent of recalled tires on the road. “Based on the work we did, that system is not working,” said Dr. Rob Molloy, Director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety. “It’s completely broken.”

What’s the problem with the system? There is no requirement for most tire dealers to register the tires they sell with the manufacturer. Independent dealers sell 92 percent of tires and many of them do not make a record of the purchase making it difficult for manufacturers to contact tire owners in the event of a recall.

The NTSB reported, 55 safety recall campaigns involving, 3.2 million tires from 2009-2013. It is estimated over 500 people are killed and 19,000 injured in 33,000 tire related accidents yearly.

One case cited by the board occurred in Lake City, Florida last year. The driver of a 15-passenger van felt a vibration and pulled over to inspect the tires. Not finding a problem, he resumed driving. Soon after, a tire failed causing the van to careen off the road and roll over. Two people were killed and eight others were injured.

The defect was internal and could not be seen. The tire had been recalled over a year earlier, but it was not registered with the tire maker.

The panel of NTSB investigators unanimously recommended that Congress require tire registration and also suggested that drivers register their tires with the manufacturers.

Registering tires require sending your name, address and tire identification number to the tire maker. The number can be found on the tire sidewall and starts with the letters “DOT.”

GreatFlorida Insurance provides reliable auto insurance to cover all your needs. Contact us today to find affordable auto insurance.

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