Flaws in tire registration, recalls can lead to crashes, NTSB says

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Washington – Inadequate registration of vehicle tires leads to ineffective recalls, and consumers receive insufficient guidance about the risks of tire aging, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The board conducted an investigation after four tire-related crashes in Arizona, California, Florida and Louisiana resulted in 12 deaths and 42 injuries. NTSB collected information and opinions about the factors that led to the tire failures.

Almost all tires are registered for potential recalls through dealerships controlled by manufacturers, yet only 10 percent of tires are registered through independent dealers (where most consumers buy tires), the report states. In addition, few drivers understand the importance of knowing about tire aging.

In the report, NTSB made nine recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including seeking the authority to require all tire dealers to register sold tires. The agency also issued a revised safety alert with tips for drivers, including:

  • Register new tires with the manufacturer to be notified of recalls.
  • Check tire pressure monthly.
  • Look for punctures and other issues.