Tuesday, December 8, 2015

NTSB Report Cites Deficiencies in Tire Recall System

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued an investigative report on tire safety. Among the findings, NTSB says the way tires are currently registered and recalled is ineffective, and tire and automotive industries provide insufficient guidance on the risks associated with tire aging.

“Our investigation revealed that very few tires are actually registered for recall purposes,” says NTSB Chair Christopher Hart. “So manufacturers cannot contact drivers if their tires need to be recalled, which can place the drivers and their passengers at risk of a tire-related crash.”

For the 3.2 million tires recalled during 2009-2013, the recall completion rate was only 44%. According to NTSB, only about 20% of tires affected in a typical recall are returned to the manufacturer. By contrast, about 78% of recalled vehicles are eventually serviced.

Although dealers and distributors controlled by the tire manufacturer are required to register newly purchased tires on behalf of the consumer, no such requirement exists for independent dealers and distributors, which is where most Americans purchase tires, NTSB says.

As a result of the study, the agency made nine recommendations to improve registration and recall processes, to develop better guidance for consumers on tire aging issues, and to promote technological innovations to reduce tire-related crashes.

Read the executive summary, including findings and recommendations.