Depending on who's talking about it, tire recalls are presented as a vital, almost earth shattering event, or something of almost negligible importance. I'm inclined to fall into the latter group but I'm still going to provide you with some reason to not completely overlook the issue.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a US government agency, will present you with statements that tire-related deaths in the US are anywhere from 200 to nearly 600 per year. Then they'll go on to tell you that in a recent 5 year period, some 1.3 million tires were ordered recalled.
Naturally, we don't minimize the importance of the loss of even a single life, but when we compare the number of persons involved who die each year from other causes such as:
Furthermore, we need to
ask what "tire-related" means. The way it is
presented by the NHTSA it might lead you to conclude that tires are
somehow dangerous, but as Tire Industry Association (TIA) Executive
Vice President Roy Littlefield said,
"It is one thing to say that '400 people
die every year as a result of tire failure due to improper inflation'
and something completely different to just say any number of people die
as the result of tire failures."
Another fact that our investigation about this topic revealed is
that in recent years there have been a number of vehicles recalled in
the US because of faults with their tire pressure monitoring systems
(TPMS). Couple this, with the fact that a normal tire, if it is
under-inflated by 25% or more, is 3 times more likely to be reported as
a critical factor in a pre-crash accident report.
One other statistic that tends to diminish the importance of
tire-recalls as a safety factor is the fact that more than 26% of all
tires examined in those tire-related accidents had less than 2/32" of
tread, or in other words, they were worn out and should have
Our conclusion is that tire-recalls, as a safety factor related to
tires is a non-issue, however, from a consumer point of view there
still is another reason to pay attention to it. The reason is that,
according to the NHTSA itself, the recall system is not working very
well. That is, about 80% of the tires which are recalled are never
returned for the exchange which they are entitled to. From a tire users
point of view, this means that 4 out of 5 buyers of tires which have
been recalled do not receive the free tires which they could have
obtained simply by presenting their tires to a dealer authorized to
process the exchange.
Considering that these consumers may have invested anywhere from $250 upwards to close to $1,000 they have lost out on a considerable benefit. Over 1 million Free Tires have gone unclaimed over the 5 year period mentioned earlier. Wouldn't you be disappointed or upset if some of those might have been yours?
The major cause of this, according to the industry is that the owners of these tires are not registered and cannot be contacted to be informed of the situation.
Tire Information World has created a Tire Defect and Recall Advisory Registry to help alleviate this problem. All you need to do is provide us with the brand and size of your tire along with an email address and we'll send you an alert if we learn of any news that pertain to you tires.
Visit Tire Information World's Exclusive Tire Care and Accessories Store.