Tire Tread Separation: Causes and Warning Signs

Tread separation is the potentially hazardous condition in which the tread of the tire separates from the casing (or body). In order for tire to remain durable and safe, there must be a strong bond between all of the tire’s specialized rubber compounds and its piles of fabric cords and metal wires.

When a tread separates or becomes worn, it greatly increases the risk of blowouts and crashes. To preempt this, you’ll want to inspect your tires regularly for defects and wear and learn how to identify a defective tire.

Possible Causes of Tread Separation

Autos.com explains that there are four potential causes of tread separation: 

  • Improper flat repair – If your tire has ever been repaired by using a plug and a patch, errors in the repair could cause separation. The tip of the plug can wedge in the space between the casing and the tread, causing irreversible separation that will continue to worsen over time.
  • Excessive wear – All tires are designed to last a set number of miles. Exceeding that limit will put excess wear on already worn tires, increasing your risk of tread separation, blowouts and traction loss.
  • Careless driving habits – Hitting potholes at high speeds can generate enough force to cause tread separation. It’s important to handle your car with care and practice good maintenance to reduce wear on your tires and the risk of tread separation.
  • Manufacturer defects –Defects in the design or manufacturing of tires may cause tread separation. Sometimes, errors in the chemical portion of the manufacturing process cause the tread and steel belting not to bond correctly. When this occurs, the manufacturer is liable for repairs.

Early Warning Signs of Tread Separation

One of the early warning signs that your tread isn’t quite right is a slight vibration you’ll feel while driving your vehicle; it will start to feel like it’s out of balance.

You might notice a bump or blister forming on the tread. Once a blister forms, it will continue to grow until the tire fails. You can check your tires for bumps and deformations with careful visual inspection and running your hands along the tire tread for irregularities.

Consumer Reports also shares a few other trouble signs that indicate the potential for tire failure, including:

  • sidewall cracks;
  • uneven tread wear; and
  • tread that’s worn thin.

Should you notice any of these signs, you’ll want to have your tires replaced immediately. Driving around on faulty or worn tires is putting you, your passengers and others on the road in a great deal of danger.

When Manufacturer Defects Cause Tread Separation

If your tire shows signs of tread separation and the cause is related to the manufacturer defects, you’ll want to contact the manufacturer to report the defect and discuss replacement.

It’s also a good idea to report tire manufacturer defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the government agency that keeps tabs on vehicle and tire safety issues. You can report defects online via NHTSA’s online complaint form or you can contact them at (855) 971-1662.

If you or your loved ones are ever in a Fort Lauderdale accident that was caused by tire defects, you might be able to file a claim to recover any damages you have sustained. To learn more about your legal options, contact a defective tire attorney at Chalik & Chalik. You can get quick service using our contact form.