We all remember the tragic Firestone injuries and accidents that occurred throughout San Antonio and the state of Texas a few years ago, and the lengths to which tire manufacturers have gone to avoid liability.
The cornerstone behind tire blowouts and defects is a phenomenon known as ‘ detreading ‘. Detreading is the foundation of a great deal of auto injuries, and an injured victim needs a San Antonio and greater Texas personal injury attorney who knows how to work tire defect cases.
When a tire detreads, the tread of the tire literally separates from the rest of the tire. Alternatively, underneath the tire tread are steel belts which can also detach from the tire. The tire manufacturers utilize unacceptable bonding techniques that cause the separation.
If you ever visit a tire factory, you will witness the placement of the tire into a large press-like apparatus. The tire is exposed to a tremendous amount of pressurized heat, so that the rubber can meld together. The real manufacturing problems occur when dirt or foreign-like substances contaminate the tire. Sometimes, the rubber is simply not quality or the steel belts undergo oxidation. Consequently, when such factors occur, the tire is more likely to detread. To further complicate the situation, the press may have mechanical issues with insufficient pressurized heat, which will also affect bonding.
The key for a San Antonio Texas tire defect attorney is to locate indivduals with knowledge of the defects in the manufacturing process of the tire manufacturer. These individuals are known as whistle blowers. Tire manufacturers counter claims of manufacturing defects by claiming the tire was under or over inflated or possessed punctures that created excessive heat and de-treading.
Yet even in these situations where the user over or underinflated the tire, it is still incumbent on the manufacturer to incorporate a ‘ cap ply ‘ in the manufacturing process. A cap ply is a sheet of nylon placed above the steel belts under the tread. The nylon holds the steel belts in place even when the belts separate from the tread. The tread itself is more likely to hold in place with the cap ply.
Although the cap ply is a relatively inexpensive and easy design to incorporate, in their quest for profits, the tire manufacturers still do not use the cap ply.
Many victims of tire defects are entitled to punitive damages, and a strong attorney will seek out other victims who were injured similarly by the same type of tire defect from the same tire manufacturer. Other key personnel include any accident witnesses and investigators in the other similar incident. It is essential to establish that the tire did not undergo any changes from the time it left the assembly line at the factory to the time detreading occurred.