Michelin Recalls 841,000 Tires For Safety Issues


Posted on 7th September 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Michelin North America is voluntarily recalling about 841,000 of its BFGoodrich and Uniroyal tires for safety issues, following reports that some of them were deflating because of tread-belt separation problems.


The tires involved are  BFGoodrich Commercial T/A A/S and Uniroyal Laredo HD/H tires in the United States, Canada and Mexico, according to a press release from BFGoodrich.  Two sizes of each tire are affected and they are typically found on commercial light trucks and full-sized heavy duty vans. About 799,900 of these tires were sold domestically.

No deaths or injuries have been reported in connection with the recalled tires.

“This recall, which has been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is being taken because there is a risk to safety,” the press release said. “A small number of the tires being recalled have experienced tread loss and/or rapid air loss, resulting from tread belt separation. This condition may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.”

The customer return rate for tread and/or air loss was 0.017 percent, which equates to about 143 tires. However, any tire produced in the range of the recall could exhibit these conditions.

“We deeply apologize for the inconvenience to customers and dealers,” Mike Wischhusen, technical director, said in a statement. “It’s our responsibility to put safety first in this matter — as we do in every aspect of our business — and voluntarily recalling these tires is the right thing to do.”

The affected tires were manufactured beginning in April 2010 and are no longer being produced.  None of the recalled tires were fitted as original equipment on new vehicles and were sold only as new replacement tires.

Owners of the affected tires should take their vehicles to an authorized dealer where the tires will be replaced at no charge, according to Michelin.

BFGoodrich sent a letter to registered owners of the tires.


“You are receiving this letter because our records indicate that you may have purchased one or more of the recalled tires,” the missive said. “It is possible that any one of the tires being recalled may experience tread loss and/or rapid air loss resulting from tread belt separation. This condition may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.”


Wal-Mart Must Pay $18.9 Million For Fatal Tire-Blowout Accident


Posted on 4th February 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A jury has awarded $18.9 million in damages against Wal-Mart Stores for an accident caused by a tire blowout that killed three people, according to Lawyers USA Online.


The panel in Maryland found Wal-Mart liable for installing a new tire on an eroded rim, which caused the fatal accident.

The three victims, a mother and her two children, were among eight people who were in a minivan that was returning from California to Maryland. The vehicle’s left rear tire had a flat when they hit Iowa, and they had a new tire put on the rim, Lawyers USA Online reported.

After a new tire was mounted on the rim, the family drove about eight hours before the tire blew out in Indiana, with Lindora Cornejo Calderon of Hyattsville, Md., and her two children killed in the accident, according to Lawyers USA Online.

Attorney’s for the three estates, as well as three others hurt in the crash, filed a negligence suit against the giant retailer and the car’s driver. The jury cleared the driver of any liability last month,

Wal-Mart’s lawyer told Lawyers USA Online that it is considering appealing the verdict.

The accident took place on Nov. 7, 2009, when the tire went flat. The group was driving east on Interstate 80 after having the new tire put on when the driver swerved to avoid something in the road, said Lawyers USA Online,

That’s when the tire blew and the driver lost control, with the vehicle rolling over several times. As a result, Vega sustained a brain injury and lost part of his right leg, according to Lawyers USA Online. Villanueva injured her  right hand in the crash.

The trial in Prince George’s County Circuit Court took nine days in January.

Toyo Tires Recalls 69,000 Tires Due To Sidewall Defect


Posted on 30th January 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has recalled 69,000 tires because of a defect in the sidewalls that may make them crack.


The tire model is the Toyo Extensa A/S, which was manufactured in the company’s plant in Georgia from 2009 to 2010.  

The tires can be identified on the sidewall by the “Made in U.S.A.” mark and the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number (TIN) ranging from 3809 to 4410. The TIN can be found after the letters “DOT” on the tire sidewall.

Toyo Tires made before or after this period aren’t being recalled, nor are tires with the “Made in Japan” or “Made in China” mark.

According to Toyo’s website, “Some of these recalled tires may have been produced with a kink in the bead area. Under certain circumstances, the kink may eventually lead to a crack in the bead area, which is near the rim. If a crack develops and is left undetected, the tire may fail, potentially causing loss of vehicle control and a crash, which could result in injury or death.”

Toyo told consumers that if they own a recalled tire, they should contact the dealer they bought it from, or an authorized Toyo dealer, to schedule an appointment to replace it. The recalled tire will be replaced for free, including the mounting, balancing and taxes, as long as it is returned by May 31.

Toyo has also set up a consumer hotline, 800-442-8696, for questions on the recalled tire.

Consumers were also told that if Toyo can’t get them the necessary replacement free of charge within a reasonable time, they should contact Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, D.C., 20590.

According to The New York Times, Toyo received its first complaint about a cracked sidewall in July 2010. Toyo checked into the matter, but found that the tires were “within specifications.”


But Toyo had a number of warranty claims last year, The Times reported, and started another probe. Toyo found that some of the tires had a thinner sidewall that was permitted by its production standards, and issued a recall.     



Plane’s Double-Tire Blowout At Sacramento Airport Under Investigation


Posted on 28th December 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized


Federal safety officials are investigating what caused two tires of a Southwest Airlines jet to blow out at Sacramento International Airport Tuesday evening, according to The Sacramento Bee.


The plane, which had 130 people onboard and was bound for Seattle, had to abort its take-off when two of its tires blew out on the runway, the newspaper reported.

The Boeing 737, which was Flight 2287, was towed from the runway. Authorities at the airport told The Sacramento Bee that they had checked the runway and didn’t anything on it that might have caused the tires to blow.

The National Safety Transportation Board will be investigating the incident, as will Southwest Airlines.

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration told The Sacramento Bee that plane-tire blowouts don’t happen too often, but that they do happen. Mechanical problems in the wheels, structural failure in the tires, runway debris and a pilot applying the brakes too hard can all lead to tire blowouts, according to the FAA official.

But the Sacramento airport seems to have had more than its share. In an incident in August 2010, four tires on a JetBlue plane coming from Long Beach, Calif., blew and the brakes went on fire, The Sacramento Bee reported. The jet had a hard landing. Passengers on that flight escaped the plane using emergency slides.  





Quebec Study Confirms That Winter Tires Cut Down On Accidents, Injuries


Posted on 13th November 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Quebec did a study on the impact of winter-tire use on car accidents in that province, finding that in fact such tires did cut down on accidents. But we’d have guessed that the snow tires would have reduced crashes more than the research indicated, but here is how the numbers came out.

According to the Canada Free Press, the 2011 study compared Quebec car accidents before and after winter-tire use became mandated by law. And the research found that during the past two winters there has been a 5 percent decline “in road-accident injuries that can be directly attributed to winter tire use,” the Free Press wrote.


Quebec also determined that winter tires prevent nearly 600 road-accident injuries each winter, and that after the winter-tire mandate the number of car accidents that ended with deaths or serious injuries dropped 3 percent, according to the Free Press.     

The story also points out that nowadays high-tech winter tires do more than just offer improved traction in ice and snow. 

“The rubber compounds used in today’s sophisticated winter tires deliver better grip in all cold weather driving conditions — including dry pavement — because these compounds maintain their elasticity even at temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius,” the Free Press wrote.

Not surprisingly the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC), a trade group for tire makers, is urging motorists to invest in winter tires rather than all-weather models, arguing that winter tires offer up to 50 percent more traction in the winter.

On its website, RAC also provided some sound safety tips about the importance of proper tire inflation and cited the results of another national motorist study.       


“The study found that the number of vehicles with improperly inflated tires has fallen dramatically in the past few years,” according to RAC.

One of the study’s key findings was that 49 per cent of the vehicles inspected had at least one tire that was under- or over-inflated. In 2003, a similar RAC driver survey found that 71 per cent of vehicles tested had one or more improperly inflated tire.

The percentage of drivers with one or more tires severely under-inflated by 20 per cent or more – a hazardous condition – also declined significantly to 10 per cent from 23 per cent in 2003.

Lotus Recalls Cars With Oil Leak That Could Spray Tires


Posted on 29th October 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized


Lotus Cars USA has voluntarily recalled more than 5,000 cars over an oil-cooler line detachment that could spray oil on tires, causing an accident.

Last week, on Oct. 26, Lotus notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of its safety recall of the Lotus Elise for the years 2005 to 2006 and the Lotus Exige for the years 2005 to 2006. There are 5,037 cars potentially affected.


The vehicles were manufactured from June 1, 2004, through Nov. 30, 2006.

According to Lotus, “The oil-cooler line may become detached from its fitting,” and “a detached oil line could spray oil on a tire, increasing the risk of a crash, or it could spray oil throughout the the engine compartment, increasing the risk of a fire.”

Lotus plans to notify the owners of the affected cars, and dealers will repair the vehicles as necessary free of charge.


Global Market For Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Projected To Hit $3 Billion By 2017


Posted on 10th September 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The global market for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), which can help prevent accidents caused by under-inflated tires, will reach $3 billion by 2017, according to a comprehensive report by the research firm Global Industry Analysts (GIA).


In summary, the report found that growth in the TPMS market will be “driven by resurgence in automotive industry and stringent legislations focusing on active road safety measures… (the) focus on fuel efficiency, growing popularity of run-flat tires and product innovation/differentiation strategies adopted by manufacturers.”

U.S. legislation that makes integration of TPMS mandatory in all cars has and will continue to drive growth, according to the GIA report.

“The market will gain additional momentum when similar legislation is passed in Europe by 2012 or 2014,” according to GIA.

Unevenly inflated tires, which compromise the stability and balance of the vehicle, increase the risk of car crashes. And beyond the tragedy of someone losing life or limb in an accident, the costs stemming from vehicular accidents  and government legisaltion mandating TPMS use will be the force behind developments in the safety devices, according to GIA.

There is already some legislations in place in the United States, and more that’s yet to be implemented in Europe and Asia.  Those factors will dictate growth in the TPMS market, according to GIA.

“Over the last decade, governments around the world have focused on legislating active road safety measures, given the rise in the number of casualties on road worldwide,” GIA said in a press release. “Unlike in the United States, where the TPMS legislation was solely driven by safety issues triggered by the massive recall of tires due to tread separation in the year 2000, in Europe TPMS legislations are driven by fuel efficiency benefits and reduction of CO2 emissions.”

In addition, GIA said, “With the exception of South Korea, Asia-Pacific, in comparison, has no mandatory TPMS legislations and market penetration currently remains low. However, success in lobbying efforts in mandating TPMS in the region could result in Asia emerging into a driving force in the world TPMS market.”

Auto makers have two choices as to what technology to deploy in monitoring tire pressure: direct or indirect TPMS technology. And according to GIA, roght now direct TPMS are considered as technologically superior for meeting required safety standards.

Direct TPMS have the deepest penetration in the United States, accordingn to GIA,  because of its ability to meet the stringent National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration final ruling requiring all vehicles to be installed with a four-tire TPMS capable of detecting a ‘more than 25 percent under-inflated tire, while simultaneously sending a warning signal to the vehicle dashboard within a detection threshold of 20 minutes.

However, the market could completely change in the event of successful technology innovations that help indirect TPMS match the accuracy levels of direct TPMS. Currently, spearheading developments in this space is NIRA Dynamics’ Tire Pressure Indicator (TPI), an indirect TPMS capable of detecting tire under inflation in all four tires and designed to meet both American FMVSS 138 and the European ECE R-64 safety regulations on tire pressure.

Given that market opportunities for TPMS are largely depend on the overall health of the automobile industry, the current worldwide recession temporarily has held back growth in the global TPMS market, GIA said. The trickle-down impact of the depressing business climate in the automotive industry on this market was reflected in the growth rates, which largely failed to meet the optimistic expectations of the pre-recession era.

“While the slump in new car sales displaced business opportunities at large, postponements of aftermarket purchases of safety systems, solutions and products, as a result of consumers’ preference to delay or even cancel discretionary purchases during difficult economic conditions, squeezed opportunities for TPMS in the aftermarket sector,” GIA said in its press release. “Expensive aftermarket electronic installations especially have been impacted, a direct fallout of weakening employment rates, consumer income and spending power.”

According to the GIA, ” With automotive production increasing, most cars scheduled for roll out in the upcoming years will come high on safety features, next generation automotive safety technologies. Regulatory riders that mandate the use of TPMS together with the strategy of wielding these systems as key brand differentiating factors will continue to encourage OEM’s interest in TPMS.”

TPMS manufacturers will be under pressure to reduce the cost of expensive systems, which are no longer considered as optional extras.

“Product-development efforts are largely geared towards achieving low maintenance, operating costs, and more accurate and reliable monitoring of tire pressure,” GIA said in its reelase. “Provision of value-added features, such as measurement of pressure, temperature and  torque to provide additional benefits, such as complete data analysis so as to invoke changes in driving style to extend tire life, is also rising in popularity as a competitive tool.”

Product-development efforts, including those targeted at Wireless TPMS that eliminate the need for additional electronics to make a wired connection, are expected to generate new opportunities in the short- to medium-term period.

Major players in the marketplace include Alps Electric Co., Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, BorgWarner BERU Systems GmbH, Continental AG, Delphi Automotive LLP, Dunlop Tech GmbH, General Electric Co., Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., Kavlico Corp., NIRA Dynamics AB, PressurePro, Pacific Industrial Co., Robert Bosch GmbH, Schrader Electronics Ltd, Silicon Microstructures Inc., Transense Technologies Plc, TRW AutomotiveHoldings Corp. and VTI Technologies Oy.

The research report titled “Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS): A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Globa Industry Analysts provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, company profiles and key strategic industry activities. The report analyzes the global TPMS market for all major geographic markets, including the United States, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain) and other parts of the world.









Two Tampa Bay Area Drivers Killed In Separate Tire Blowout Crashes


Posted on 14th August 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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In separate accidents in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, two drivers were killed when tires on their vehicles blew out.

The fatal accidents took place within about a week of each other, in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

On July 28, Terry Lee Colston, 55, of Clearwater was driving a Ford Explorer on Interstate 4 when its rear tire blew out, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The SUV, which also was carrying four children, spun and turned over.   


Colston died at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, while his son Robert Colston, 11, was hospitalized with critical injuries, according to the newspaper. The three other children in the van, Sarah Colston, 11, Jake Colston, 10, and Maxwell Watson, 10, were also treated at the hospital for minor injuries.   

Then on Aug. 6, a Palm Harbor man was killed, and his 12-year-old son badly hurt, when a tire on their minivan blew out, the St. Petersburg Times reported.


Driver Shane Chancy, 37, was driving on the Sunshine Skyway bridge in St. Petersburg when the tire went, and his minivan struck a guardrail and turned over. Chancy was thrown from the vehicle and killed. His son was hospitalized.

DOT Warns Motorists To Check Their Tires Before Driving In Hot Weather


Posted on 3rd June 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

During the past five years nearly 3,400 people died in tire-related accidents, which is why federal safety officials are warning drivers to check their tires.

In a consumer advisory issued Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation urged all motorists to inspect their tires for proper inflation and signs of tread wear and damage before driving in hot weather.


 The advisory coincides with National Tire Safety Week, which is June 5 to 11, and as driving increases with the kick-off of the summer travel season.

“As the weather warms up, it’s especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated,” Secretary Ray LaHood said on a statement. “For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation.”

The latest data from the department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that during the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, nearly 3,400 people died, and an estimated 116,000 were injured, in tire-related crashes.

“While it’s true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a statement. “Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster.”

The department urged motorists to check their tire pressure before long trips and to inspect tires periodically.

Motorists should also be aware that aging tires and hot weather can be a potentially deadly combination, as older tires are more susceptible to heat stress, especially if they are not properly inflated, according to DOT. Motorists should check the tire sidewall to see how old their tires are, and to check with the tire manufacturer or the vehicle owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to change tires.

Properly inflated tires will also improve a vehicle’s fuel economy and help stretch the family dollar at the gas station, according to DOT. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires.

For example, for a vehicle with a fuel-economy rating of 30 miles per gallon and a 35 PSI tire pressure recommendation, a drop of 25 percent in tire pressure would equate to a loss of 8.8 percent in fuel economy, or a drop of 2.6 miles per gallon.

For more information on tire safety, go to NHTSA’s safety website www.safercar.gov

Royals’ Infielder’s Father Killed By Runaway Tire In Freak Accident


Posted on 13th March 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The father of Kansas City Royals Minor League infielder Anthony Seratelli was killed in a freak accident when a runaway tire crashed into the windshield of his car on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.  


Russell Seratelli, 47, of Matawan, N.J., died in the Feb. 28 accident, which took place near parkway exit 128 in Kenilworth. Seratelli was driving a Hyundai Sonata when a tire and rim, which had fallen off a Honda Accord, bounced over a median and flew into his lane.

The tired went through Seratelli’s windshield, killing him. His daughter, Danielle Seratelli, 25, was a passenger in the car but wasn’t injured.     

The elder Seratelli’s son, Anthony, left the Royals’ Minor League training camp in Arizona to come home after his father’s death. 


 “We received some terrible news this morning when we learned of the untimely passing of Russell Seratelli, father of Royals’ Minor League infielder Anthony Seratelli, yesterday near the family home in New Jersey,” Scott Sharp, the Royals’ director of Minor League operations, said in a statement.

“Our organization prides itself on not only getting to know our athletes, but the families of each athlete, and this tragedy has cut deeply into every one of us. On behalf of the Kansas City Royals, our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony and his entire family as they mourn the passing of an outstanding father and gentleman.”