Defective Daimler Chassis Can Cause Tire Blowouts
Daimler Trucks North America recently conducted a second recall of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) products after an undetected leaky valve stem was discovered. The new recall was reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and involved at least some of the 10,359 FCCC units that were recalled in September of this year. The latest recall included 18,808 chassis across 59 products between the 2017 and 2022 model years. The organization insists that one percent of the chassis are expected to have the issue.
According to Freightwaves, Daimler tried to fix the source of the original recall, but to no avail: “Four customers who had the original recall repair completed reported to the NHTSA in September and October this year that the remedy did not last.” Information on the new recall will be sent out on January 21, 2021.
What was wrong with the chassis?
The chassis is the frame of the truck, and in this case, it’s not the actual chassis that is a problem. The issue is really with the extensions for the tire valve stems (little tubes in the rims of wheels that allow a tire to be inflated). The extensions “for the inner wheel may contact the outer wheel rim opening and become damaged. Valve stem damage may result in a rapid loss of tire pressure of the inner wheel.” Truckers may also notice that the stabilizers (the pieces that hold the stems in place) have also moved.
These tiny pieces can lead to big trouble, because it disrupts the tire pressure, leading to a flat tire or an overloaded tire. Either one can be the source of a truck accident, especially if multiple tires blow in the span of a few minutes.
How dangerous are tire blowouts for trucks and other motorists?
Tire blowouts are one of the trucking accidents that can happen in an instant. Even one tire blowing out has the power to influence the commercial truck to swing uncontrollably and collide with other vehicles or pedestrians. Commercial truck drivers will have an impossible time maintaining control of the truck once one or multiple tires blow out. What makes it difficult to maintain control of a truck once a tire blows out is the weight that shifts from one side of the vehicle to another. The side of the vehicle that the weight will shift do depends on where the tire blowout happens.
What are some common causes of tire blowout accidents?
There are several things that can contribute to a tire blowout accident. One common cause is old, worn tires. When truck drivers or trucking companies fail to maintain the proper maintenance of trucks or their parts, tires can become worn down from consistent use. As the truck’s tires come in contact with all sorts of debris from the road, the rubber wears down.
Another common cause of tire blowout accidents is small punctures. There are various types of sharp objects left on roadways like glass shards, rocks, and nails that can create small punctures inside the tires. The tire’s air is at risk of draining out of the tire, sometimes at such a slow pace that the truck driver does not notice it. As the driver travels at higher rates of speed, pressure can begin to build up, leading to a blowout.
Tire blowout accidents are also caused by overloaded vehicles. Vehicles that carry too much weight are at a greater risk of blowing out their tires. The weight can include too many passengers, too much cargo, or a combination of both. Another common cause of tire blowout accidents is potholes. Potholes are road hazards that cause significant damage to a vehicle’s tires and can cause a tire to expand and contract quickly.
Tire blowout accidents can also be caused by tire installation errors. There are times where improper installation of a tire can result in a tire blowout. When tires are improperly installed, there are at risk of rubbing together, wobbling, or causing dangerous wear.
What type of damage is caused by a tire blowout?
One of the most terrifying occurrences that can happen from a tire blowout is when the vehicle decelerates while traffic is still in the process of moving. Depending on where the tire blowout happens, the truck is in danger of spinning uncontrollably. Other motorists are in danger of being struck by the commercial truck as it spins into traffic or on the side of the road.
The truck driver is also at risk of sustaining substantial injuries, as he or she can be bounced around or knocked against other parts of the truck. In addition to striking other motorists, the truck is in danger of colliding with other parts of the roadway, such as the guardrail or the entrance or exit ramp, and tipping over.
Who can be held liable for a tire blowout accident?
Depending on the nature of the accident and the cause of the tire blowout, there are several parties that can be held liable. One of the parties that can be held liable is the truck driver, as the truck driver has the responsibility of driving the commercial vehicle in a safe manner. The same responsibility applies to the trucking company. The trucking company has the responsibility of ensuring that all commercial trucks have been properly inspected and approved for safe traveling.
Manufacturers also have a responsibility to their consumers to provide products that are safe and free of any hazards. This is why Daimler has issued another recall: if a defective part in their Freightliner chassis contributed to a collision and subsequent injuries of those involved in a truck accident, the company could be held liable for those injuries and losses.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we represent people who have suffered serious injuries in truck accidents. When those accidents were the result of a defective part, the manufacturer may be liable. Whether you were driving the truck with the defective part, or suffered a loss in a collision with a truck, we can help. Call our injury lawyers in Chattanooga today at 423-756-7923, or fill out our contact form. Proudly serving Chattanooga, Cleveland, North Georgia, and the surrounding areas.
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