In 2000, Congress responded to the tragic outcome of a major tire recall involving Ford vehicles and Firestone tires. There were many fatalities related to problems with the tires, and the response spurred the creation of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act.
With oversight from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the TREAD Act implemented requirements for auto and tire manufacturers believed to improve the safety of drivers and passengers on the roadways. The requirements apply to the manufacture, labeling and recall practices for all passenger vehicles, auto parts, tires and even child restraint systems.
Elements of the TREAD Act
The TREAD Act is comprised of several key elements – some mentioned below – that intend to increase the speed with which consumers are informed of manufacturing defects and elevate the level of safety in all passenger vehicles.
- Early warning database: Congress laid the groundwork for a new system of collecting required data from manufacturers that would give the U.S. government the necessary information and authority to provide product defect warnings to the public. The hope is that the database and reporting mandates will avoid delayed safety recalls.
- Reimbursement for repair prior to recall: Individuals can receive reimbursement for repairs to defective tires or parts that they paid for prior to an official recall.
- Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS): The TREAD Act requires all vehicle manufacturers to install systems in new vehicles manufactured after 2008 that will warn drivers if any of the tires on the vehicle are under inflated. The TPMS must warn drivers of any tires that fall 25 percent below the recommended level of inflation.
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How the TREAD Act Protects Consumers
The intent of Congress and the NHTSA is to protect consumers by requiring auto industry manufacturers to report problematic issues of any passenger vehicles, parts, or tires in a timely manner. This reporting allows the NHTSA to collect potential defect data and relay it to the public in an efficient manner.
Consumers benefit from the provisions of the TREAD Act because tire manufacturers are held to a higher standard of disclosure intended to inform consumers of safety concerns before they become a danger on the roads.
The TREAD Act also makes it possible for criminal charges to be brought against manufacturers who intentionally fail to comply with the reporting laws set forth by the Act if somebody suffers serious injury because of the defect. This aims to encourage compliance and hold responsible parties that cause harm by withholding essential safety information.
You May File a Product Liability Claim if Harmed by a Defective Tire
Product liability laws still apply, allowing those harmed by a defective tire or other defective auto part to file a product liability suit whether or not the tire in question was subject to a tire recall.
This allows them to seek compensation for many damages like those listed below.
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
The TREAD Act may govern additional charges against the responsible party if it intentionally withheld safety-related information. Consult a product liability attorney to learn more about your rights and how you can pursue reimbursement for damages you’ve suffered.
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Seek Help from Chalik & Chalik if Harmed by Defective Tires
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