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.

If a tire fails and causes an accident, may I still have a valid claim for compensation against the tire company even if the tire was not recalled?

The short answer is YES.

The fact that a tire has not been recalled does not even begin to tell us whether it is defective and dangerous, or whether the tire company should be held responsible for ensuing injuries or loss of life.  The tire industry may try to tell you otherwise, but the large majority of tire failures that cause accidents occur with tires that have not been recalled.    And many of these failures are the results of design and/or manufacturing defects in the tire.  Believe it or not, tire companies do not always do the right thing and recall defective tires, even if they should. Many lawsuits have been filed by victims, and won, due to defects in tires that were not recalled.

A particularly dangerous type of tire failure is known as a tread-belt detachment.  This is more commonly referred to as a "tread separation" failure.  It involves the tread and often the top steel belt separating from the bottom belt and carcass of the tire while a vehicle is being driven on the highway.  This failure mode -- if it happens often enough to a particular tire design -- can cause a tire company to issue a recall.  But recalls are expensive.  Tire companies often insist that individual failures of this variety were the result of customer misuse or road hazards, and they refuse to recall tire brands that have a history of these failures.   It is important to note that many investigating police officers will still call a failure of this type a "blowout," but that is not really an accurate description of what has occurred.  In some instances, a tire may not even lose air pressure despite a tread separation failure, if the carcass remains intact.   It is not uncommon to see an overturned vehicle with a fully inflated tire that is missing its tread.  These failures are particularly dangerous due to the forces involved when the tire begins to disintegrate, and often cause loss of vehicle control even for experienced, careful drivers.

Chris Roberts has successfully handled literally dozens of tire defect cases for victims of tire-failure-related crashes.  The majority of those cases have involved tires that were never recalled, even if they should have been.  In 2010, Chris was lead counsel in a case against Goodyear involving an RV tire (a G159 brand) that failed and caused serious injury.  The case went to a jury verdict.  Goodyear insisted the tire was non-defective and failed due to external causes beyond its control.  The jury disagreed, found that the tire was indeed defective and caused the accident, and awarded Chris' clients $5.6M in compensatory damages.

If you have suffered serious injury or the loss of a loved one due to a tire failure, take action.  Know your rights.  Call Chris at 727.286.3537, or email him at -- --  and Chris will help you determine if you may have a right to compensation from the manufacturer or others involved in placing the tire on your vehicle.