Tire recalls are very rare. They happen less often than vehicle recalls. Still, it helps to know why they happen, and what to do if one happens to you.
Why tire recalls happen
Even through rigorous inspections that verify safety, quality and environmental standards, there is still the possibility that a defective tire could make it to the road. Recalls typically occur when tires become a serious safety risk or fail to meet minimum safety standards. If that’s the case, manufacturers are required to repair or replace the tires or give you a refund. Here are common causes of tire recalls:
The most common cause of a tire recall is when the treat and belt separates. It most often happens during the design and manufacturing process. Tread and belt separation is when the tire plies separate from one another. This increases the likelihood of blowouts, vehicle damage, or in worse case scenarios, accidents.
The weakest part of the tire is the bead wire at the connection point of the rim and tire. Bead wire failure here can cause the tire to rapidly lose air and become a safety hazard while you’re driving.
Whose call is a recall?
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the tire manufacturer decides when a tire recall is needed. If any manufacturers’ products pose a safety threat, the manufacturer might call for a voluntary recall of their product or the NHTSA may request – or enforce – a recall.
How do I know if my tires have been recalled?
To check if your tires are being recalled, just read the Tire Identification Number or TIN, which is located on the side of your tire. The TIN usually consists of 8-13 digits, and begins with the letters “DOT”. This number is used to identify the manufacturing location, the tire size, the tire specifications and the tire’s production date.
You can sign up on the NHTSA website to get recall notifications.
Filling out your DOT Registration Card provides your tire manufacturer with your current address so they can let you know if there’s a recall. You can also call the number provided on the recall notice, the NHTSA or you can check online at safecar.gov.
Vehicles do not always come with a spare tire, but you might not notice this until it’s too late (when you are on the side of the road with a flat). It’s important to always have a back-up plan. Tireamerica.com has a guide created to help you understand the best options for you.