Have you ever thought about how large a role your tires play in keeping you safe on the road? They provide the grip you need to make precise turns, the tread you need to sift through snow and rain battered roads, and the durability to travel thousands of miles without wearing. As consumers, we can’t monitor the manufacturing and production quality control processes that go into every product we buy, so we have to trust that the companies we do business with have our best interests in mind. When this trust is broken in the auto industry, and a product is sold with potentially deadly design defects, it can result in some pretty severe consequences for both client and company.
Earlier this month, the tire manufacturer Michelin North America announced that it would be recalling as many as 100,000 units due to potentially hazardous design faults. According to Michelin, a perforation in the sidewall of the tires could cause them to lose pressure while a vehicle is in motion, possibly leading to sudden tire failure and increasing the risk of an accident. The recall will affect a wide range of lines, including the Latitude Tour, LTX M/S2, and X Radial LT2 models, which were produced between January 28th-May 26th of 2013. Michelin will begin the process of notifying their clients in the next few days, with dealers inspecting any affected tires and replacing them free of charge. Owners have been instructed to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline, or go to www.safercar.gov is they have concerns. (Safercar.gov; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Most manufacturers act quickly to do the right thing after their products are found to be defective. However, large scale automotive recalls cost a huge amount of money, and in some cases this can lead manufacturers to discount evidence that a problem exists in order to avoid losing money. In one such case, our lawyers took on a major American automobile manufacturer after one of their improperly designed fuel delivery systems resulted in a fire that killed the occupants of the vehicle. By working with the families of the victims, our attorneys were able to secure a $3 million settlement.
In this instance, Michelin did the right thing, and their acknowledgement of the problem has kept thousands of people safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and many people are injured and killed every year because of negligent manufacturers. If you have been injured by an automobile design defect, don’t take the company on by yourself, call us, and we fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve.