Last time, our blog discussed how even the most vigilant vehicle owners can't possibly account for every potential safety issue and, as such, why it's so important for anyone involved in a car accident to consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can help determine whether a latent auto defect played a role in their crash.
Those who harbor any doubts about how hard it can be to uncover auto defects should look no further that recent comments made by officials with the National Transportation Safety Board calling the existing registration and recall system for a major auto component both "ineffective" and "completely broken."
These comments were made in connection with the release of a report by the NTSB examining theefficacy of the current tire recall system. According to agency figures, a minimum of 33,000 vehicle crashes per year -- and anywhere from 400 to 500 fatalities per year -- can be attributed to so-called tire initiated events (punctures, underinflation, etc.) or tire defects.
The report, which was prompted by in part by a tragic accident in Florida in which two people were killed and eight others were seriously injured in a church van accident later attributed to a tire defect of which neither of the owners nor mechanics were aware, indicated that much of the problem can be attributed to a lack of consumer awareness.
Specifically, the NTSB believes that many people might be entirely unaware that in order to receive any sort of notice that their particular model/type of tire has been recalled, they must actually register with the tire manufacturer.
In order to help rectify this situation, the NTSB indicated that both tire manufacturers and its own officials must do more to make things easier for consumers, including:
- The creation of an easily accessible database in which consumers can enter their Tire Identification Number, found on the side of the tire, to register/learn about any recalls or possible defects
- The installation of barcodes or embedded chips on new tires that enable auto shops, tire dealers and other parties to quickly identify problem tires
- The introduction of updatable customer contact forms to help make sure owners get the necessary information
Here's hoping we see some progress in this area …
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you know how to determine whether your tires are subject to a recall or even how old your tires are?