Defective Tires Blamed In Fatal Texas Car Crash

There are a lot of reasons why car accidents happen. Sometimes, another driver makes a bad decision — like speeding, texting or drunk driving — that puts others on the road at risk. In other cases, though, the danger comes not from the driver, but from a problem with the vehicle itself.

Automotive defects have the potential to cause serious and even deadly car accidents. All too often, the driver is not even aware of the defect until the vehicle malfunctions at highway speeds, causing the driver to lose control.

Sadly, this situation played out in Texas last year, when two young men were killed in a crash caused by a defective tire. According to investigators, the men were riding in a Ford F-150 truck equipped with Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires. The tread on the front right tire apparently separated, sending the vehicle first into a side-skid, then into a rollover.

Goodyear waited to recall

That accident happened in August 2011. In February 2012, Goodyear decided to recall the tires in question.

Unfortunately, it appears that Goodyear knew of the defect well before the fatal Texas crash occurred. In May 2010, the company notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it had started to become aware of tread separation during a review of warranty and property damage claims. However, Goodyear declined to take action at that time.

The recall affects six different models of tire sold under the Wrangler Silent Armor brand name, all of which were manufactured in 2009. They are most commonly found on large vehicles, including pickup trucks, vans and SUVs. The tires are meant for heavy-duty work such as off-roading or construction site work.

Vehicle owners can visit the NHTSA's safety website to find out if their tires are part of the recall.

Texas Auto Defect Lawsuits

When a motor vehicle accident is caused by a negligent driver, injured victims can file a lawsuit against the driver to seek compensation for the harms they have suffered. A similar option exists when an accident is caused by a defect or malfunction in a motor vehicle. In those cases, victims can pursue product liability lawsuits.

Everybody has a right to expect that their vehicles — and all of their components — were designed and manufactured in a way that does not create an unreasonable risk of harm. If a danger is present, the manufacturer has a duty to provide an adequate warning.

In the aftermath of a serious accident, it is not always immediately apparent whether an auto defect played a role. That is why it is so important for accident victims to consult with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney soon after a crash. The attorney will be able to assemble a team of experts who can investigate the accident to determine who — or what — may have been at fault.