As I mentioned in a previous post, tire defects can have serious consequences when not taken care of. In addition to environmental conditions which can adversely affect the performance of a tire, there are also internal design and manufacturing defects which could lead to serious injuries as well.
The exploding components of a failed multi-piece wheel assembly have earned the nickname “widow makers.” Multi-piece wheels are two or three piece assemblies which require tube type tires. They are much less common then single piece wheels but can be found on garbage trucks or other heavy duty trucks.
These assemblies utilize a split ring which secures the tire to the rim. The ring can appear to be properly seated on the rim prior to inflation when in fact it is not. If inflation takes place while the ring is not properly seated, the ring may suddenly release. Inflation of these types of tires must always be performed in a tire cage. Unfortunately, explosive separation can occur once the inflation process has been completed and the tire/wheel assembly is being mounted on the vehicle.
Multi-piece explosions can result in various types of potential defect cases. First, a design defect claim can be brought based upon the availability of a single piece design which does not present the same hazards and provides the same utility in certain applications. Also, allegations of design defects have been made due to the potential to mismatch components which can result in explosions. Negligence claims may also be available if a tire mechanic improperly services the assembly resulting in an explosion and subsequent injury.
If you, your family, or your friends are injured as a result of a tire failure, it is important to call an attorney experienced in investigating tire failure. These cases can be complex and expensive and should be handled by an attorney who has experience in this specialty.