Michelin to Pay After Tread Separation Causes Fatal Crash

Michelin has agreed to compensate the survivors of two women killed in a crash triggered by a partial tire tread separation of a Michelin LTX A/T tire. Additionally, the driver and two passengers who were injured in the crash will also receive monetary compensation from the tire maker.

Tire Tread Separation

The family members were traveling in a 1997 Chevrolet pick-up truck along a highway when the tread peeled off the truck’s right rear tire. Following the partial tread separation, the vehicle pulled to the right, and when the driver prudently corrected to the left, the truck spun and veered into the median. The truck rolled several times before landing on its roof.

The two women, who were seated on the right side of the pick-up truck, died after sustaining traumatic injuries to their head and upper body. The driver and two other passengers in the pick-up suffered injuries including head trauma, abrasions, and herniated discs.

Attorney John Gsanger alleged the tire that failed was built in Tokyo during a rainy, snowy week, at a tire manufacturing plant where the roof leaked. A tire exposed to rainwater during the manufacture process may develop pockets of air within the components, which can lead to tire tread separation. An examination of the damaged tire showed signs of such air pockets, Gsanger further alleged.

Gsanger also claimed the tire had other manufacturing defects including rubber that was improperly bonded and belts that were positioned unevenly. The tire also lacked a feature called a nylon cap ply that improves the durability of a tire.

The Michelin tire was manufactured more than ten years before it was placed on the pickup in the crash. Gsanger further claimed Michelin did not effectively warn consumers of the risks in using such older tires. This could be achieved through an expiration date placed directly on each tire.

The Ammons Law Firm has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection and product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, and plant explosions.