Airless Tires: Are we looking at a new set of problems?
Vehicle owners have always been burdened with the task of constantly monitoring air pressure in their tires, change a tire when flat, and some drivers may be at risk of experiencing a tire blowout while driving. The invention of a new tire, manufactured by Bridgestone, may change all that. However, tire problems may be here to stay.
Bridgestone Creates an Airless Tire
In October 2014, Bridgestone showed off its airless tire at the Paris Motor Show. Unlike conventional tires of old, the new tire, appropriately named the Air Free, has shock-absorbing resin bands rather than air for cushioning. The resin bands look similar to angled spokes, although much thicker (and shown off in baby blue at the motor show).
Like a traditional tire, the outside of the tire is completed with a tread, which is replaceable, made from rubber. According to Oliver Monbet, the head of Bridgestone’s technical department in France, the entirety of the tire is recyclable. But is it safe?
According to a 2013 New York Times article, Goodyear has also designed similar tires, which are self-inflating, eliminating the need to refill tires by hand. The tires have been named “Breathless.”
Are airless tires safe?
The October 2014 tire models shown at the Paris Motor Show are just a prototype, although a second-generation one (the original Air Free debuted in 2011). That being said, some have safety concerns about the airless tires. The first prototype had problems with shock absorbency, which have since been resolved. The second generation Air Frees are experiencing problems with lateral stiffness, which means that a driver may have trouble steering. Until the problem is corrected – and a plethora of safety tests are conducted – the tires won’t be ready for consumer use. However, many are touting the new tires as the wave of the future, lauding their environmentally conscious design. And many are of course lauding that replacing flats will be a thing of the past.
Defective Tires Still an Issue
While the majority of rubber, air-filled tires today are safe, there are those that are designed and manufactured with dangerous defects. Defects in tires today often include tread separation and inflation problems, which can lead to tire blowouts or severe crashes and injuries.
While a “blowout” may no longer be an issue with the new airless tires, there’s no saying whether or not the issue of tire defects will be entirely alleviated. Like all products and tires on the market today, some airless tires might be manufactured or designed with a dangerous defect, rendering them deadly to the driver who uses them. While a defect is not inevitable, it is possible.
When a tire is designed or manufactured with a defect that causes a consumer harm, the manufacturer of that tire may be liable for resultant damages. In fact, Bridgestone has been the subject of defective tire recalls and lawsuits in the past.
An Attorney Can Help with Defective Tire Cases
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a defective tire – airless or otherwise – you need the help of a defective tire attorney. An attorney can help you hold the tire manufacturer or other party responsible, getting you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
At Chalik & Chalik Law Offices, our legal team is committed to making sure that you get the money you need following an accident caused by a defective tire. For guidance regarding the process of filing a personal injury suit for damages, call us today at 855-529-0269 or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment.