Are Your General Tires a Hazard?

The Continental Tire company’s General brand line of tires have been in the midst of an extensive recall for over a decade now. We have already mentioned their negligence in offering defective products in an earlier post on Continental tire recalls. Since 2002, their General tire products have been popping up in news stories for their catastrophic equipment failures.

Boca Raton’s Sun Sentinel reported in 2004 that a Ford Expedition using General Grabber AW tires that were supposed to have been recalled lost control and crashed into a bus for the local First Baptist Church. The bus careened into a canal, killing three children.

Despite the dire consequences of these tire’s failures, potentially hundreds or even thousands remain on the roads. Anyone who has been the victim of an accident that was been caused by defective tires manufactured by Continental under the General Tire brand name could be entitled to damages for their injuries. Read on to find if your vehicle or tires were affected, and what you may be able to do about it.

Which Tires and Vehicle Models Were Affected?

Continental’s General Tire line was extremely popular in the early 2000s as the standard manufacturer or replacement tire for many trucks and SUVs. The specific tire models affected by product safety recalls included:

  • General Grabber AW Tires
  • General Grabber TR BSW Tires
  • General Ameri Trac Tires

Vehicle models affected include:

  • 2000-2001 Ford Expedition two-wheel drive model
  • 200-2001 Lincoln Navigator two-wheel drive model

If you suspect that you own any of these tire or vehicle models, you can view more specific information about recalls from 2005 and 2002.

Reasons for Tire Failure

The recall affects a wide variety of products manufactured between 2000 and 2005.

Earlier recalls in 2002 were in response to persistent complaints about uneven tire wear, vibrations and tread detachment in Contitrac AW and General Grabber AW tires sized P275/60R17. According to the manufacturer’s statements, the rubber gauges used between the tire’s belt edges were lower than specified. As a result, the tread would become loose and potentially detach from the tire belts while it was in motion, causing many drivers to lose control of their vehicle.

The 2005 recall affected Contitrac TR OWL, Contitrac TR BSW, Contitrac BSW and General Grabber TR BSW tire models manufactured between May and June of 2005. Continental General Tire Company declined to specify in this instance the specific reasons for the tire recall, instead simply citing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 119, which declares minimum endurance testing standards for motor vehicle tires.

A third issue seems to be present with General’s Ameri Trac line of tires, although no formal recalls have been issued. Consumers have been reporting vibration, tread separation, tire bulging and blowouts similar to the Grabber models. Consumer complaints regarding the models can be viewed here or here.

How to Potentially Claim Damages Following an Accident Caused by Defective General Tires

Safety recalls attempt to remedy poorly manufactured products that slip through the cracks, but they are often not enough. Like the bus crash in 2004 and a similar one before it in 2002, the consequences of having these tires on the road can be horrifically fatal.

Anyone who owns a vehicle with General Grabber tires should check the links above or visit the NHTSA’s site to see if their models are affected. Waiting a single day longer can be enough to put yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road at risk.

If you have or someone close to you has sustained injuries in an accident as a result of recalled General Tire products, you may be entitled to damages pursuant to Florida consumer protection laws. Defective product liability laws outlined in Florida Statutes Section 768.81(d) state that injuries that are made worse than they would have been by defective products could make parties eligible for legal recourse.

Let Chalik & Chalik help you navigate the complex process of demonstrating negligence on the part of Continental’s General Tire brand. Get started by calling us today at 855-529-0269, and get your life back on track.