Can a Tire Be Defective If It Has a Nail?
The presence of a nail in a tire that has failed does not necessarily rule out the fact that the tire may have failed as a result of a manufacturing or design defect.
While it is true that a nail may cause a tire failure, a full investigation must be made regarding whether or not a specific tire failure was caused by the presence of a nail or some other factor.
A puncturing nail will allow for loss of air pressure. Driving a vehicle on a tire with critically low air pressure will allow for the tire to sag and for the buildup of heat within the tire. Ultimately, the tire will fail in the form of a sidewall blowout.
Nevertheless, there are many tread separation events that are caused by a manufacturing or design defect in a tire that coincidentally also has a nail, but the nail had no influence on the tire failure event.
Consider a motor vehicle whose headlights are not working. If the motor vehicle is stopped at a red light and rear -ended in the bright light of day, the fact that the headlights were not in good mechanical repair had nothing to do with the cause of the car accident.
Likewise, a nail may or may not be the cause of a tire failure. We have observed tire tread separation cases caused by manufacturing and design defects where the tread pulled away from the tire, but forensic evidence left on the tire showed that the tread separation event did not originate anywhere near the area of the puncturing nail. Even patch repairs for prior punctures have remained completely intact when the tread has pulled away from the tire and experts have found that if the repair was done properly it had nothing to do with the tread separation event.
Obviously, the presence of a nail or prior tire repair complicates the analysis of the case, but a knee jerk reaction, concluding that a nail or a prior tire repair is the cause of every tire failure is inappropriate.
Florida personal injury lawyers must undertake a thorough analysis and investigation of tire failures that lead to catastrophic injuries. At Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A. we believe that if a tire fails by tread separation as opposed to a sidewall blowout, even if there is the presence of a nail or a prior patch repair the tire is worthy of a forensic examination and a complete review so that the interests of injured individuals may be properly protected.