Are Automotive Tires Safety Tested by the Government?

The short answer is a resounding "No!"

Many people assume that before tires are sold by tire companies to the public, the tire designs are safety tested by the government.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Tires are not subjected to any government testing, inspection or approval before they are sold to the public. In fact, the tire industry is entirely self-regulated when it comes to design criteria and testing for safety.  The fox is guarding the hen house where tires are concerned.

There are government regulations applicable to the tire industry, but the only government regulations that even arguably address tire safety are a set of stationary wheel tests that were originally developed literally decades ago. The tests involve the tire company running a few sample tires for a matter of hours on a test wheel at varying speeds and loads, and also subjecting a few tires to some basic puncture resistance protocols. Aside from the fact that this type of testing is entirely inadequate to test for hidden tire defects like tread separation propensity (a dangerous type of tire failure that ordinarily occurs in tires only after a year or two of use by the consumer), the testing is not monitored or verified by anyone.  The tire companies must be trusted to run the tests and record the results.  What's worse, if a tire fails during tire company testing, the company can decide simply to test another one and another one until they can find a tire that passes. There is no law preventing this. The companies merely need to certify that they could subjectively pass a tire. There is literally zero oversight of this process by the government, and the public must simply trust the tire companies to: 1) run the tests properly; 2) accurately record the results; and 3) ensure that the tires are otherwise properly built so they don’t fail in ways that are not prevented by the testing, e.g., by tread separation failure.


Chris Roberts is a Tampa Bay area attorney who has been representing victims of tire defects for more than a decade, all over the country.   If you have sustained serious injuries as the result of a tire failure that caused you to lose control of your vehicle and crash, Chris can help you determine if your tire failed due to a hidden defect  .  If a defect was involved, Chris can assist you in seeking compensation from those responsible.   To schedule a free consultation with Chris to discuss your potential case, email Chris at this link:  Or call Chris at 727.286.3537, and schedule an appointment.