Last week, Michelin North America announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1.2 million tires. This recall is due to numerous reports that the tires' tread comes apart, which can cause serious automobile wrecks. Fortunately, no injuries due to these defective tires have been reported. The types of tires included in the recall are the LTX M/S tires, size 225/75/16.
The tires included in the recall can be found on vehicles such as:
- Light commercial trucks
- Heavy duty vans, such as those used as airport shuttles and delivery vans. The commonly used Ford E-series vans are often equipped with these Michelin tires.
- Large pickup trucks
- Small recreational vehicles
Tire separation can be extremely dangerous to both the passengers of the vehicle equipped with the affect tire(s), as well as to others in automobiles around them. These tires could be perforated on the sidewall, which would cause low air pressure.
In the event of tire separation while driving, the rubber and steel belt underneath come off the tire. This can lead to sharp parts spinning around and puncturing important parts of the vehicle. The immediate notification of this happening is a steady thumping sound. It can happen within seconds, or over a period of a few days. The sound oftentimes lessens, which can be dangerous because many drivers assume the problem has fixed itself when it no longer makes a loud sound.
So what should you do if you're driving down Interstate 75 and the tread on your tires begins to come off? First, stay in control of the vehicle and drive straight down your lane of traffic. Contrary to popular belief, you should not immediately hit your brake and steer to the side of the road. Allow your vehicle to coast to a slower speed, which staying on a straight path of travel. Once you've reached a safe speed below 30 MPH, use your turn signal and guide the vehicle smoothly towards the side of the road. It is typically safer to guide the vehicle to the shoulder that is on the same side as the impaired tire. It is important that you do not attempt to operate the vehicle once you've realized that the tire tread is coming off. Even driving it to a nearby repair shop is extremely dangerous to both yourself and those around you. Instead, replace the damaged tire with the spare and then immediately visit a shop to purchase a new tire.
If you believe your vehicle's tires may be included in this recall, simply visit a Michelin location for an inspection and replacement.
If you believe you have been injured in a car crash caused by a Michelin tire's tread separation, you may have a legal claim for compensation of medical bills and pain and suffering. For more information, contact Jones & Swanson at (770) 427-5498 or online at www.awjlaw.com.