RV Tire Safety: “The tire was defective.” Are you sure?


with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Originally posted by tap4154 on an iRV2.com forum:
“They are now defective tires and should be replaced under warranty. Heck, maybe the dealer even knew they were defective? Do not let the dealer or Goodyear get away with not replacing them for free. BTW, that the dealer even suggested putting the defective tires on the back tells me they may be shady….”

My response:
I suggest you look up the definition of “defect.”

A belt separation is a condition that has a cause. The cause may be a defect such as some contamination was built into the tire between the belts or the wrong rubber compound was used on a batch of tires, as I discovered when inspecting tires back in 2000. As I pointed out in THIS post, there are also external usage factors that can contribute to the initiation of a belt separation.

If you worked in a coal mine and after 30 years were diagnosed with “Black Lung” disease, would that simply mean your body was defective – which would make the condition your parent’s fault?

If you had a sidewall flex failure due to running with only 20% of the air pressure required to support the load, is that an indication of the tire being “defective”? You can learn more about this condition by reviewing THIS post in 2011 on sidewall “blowouts.”

Simply claiming a tire is “defective” is the go-to excuse used by many that have no working knowledge of, or don’t want to spend the time investigating, the “why” tires develop various conditions.

If you have a tire failure and even if you don’t know why it failed, and even after reviewing the posts on this blog that identify various reasons for a tire to fail, I still suggest you file a complaint with NHTSA. Please, however, just describe the condition of the tire and be sure to include the vehicle VIN and the full tire DOT serial.


Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.



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1 year ago

I saw a post earlier this year concerning a double steer-tire blowout, that was claimed to be defective tires.

The coach was loaded over the front axle weight limit, and the tires had been inflated to the very max to “compensate”. Also, the coach had been driven across TX during the day, with consistent 100+ ambient temperatures.

Maybe both tires (from a major mfg) were defective; however, the above scenario truly seems like a recipe for tire failure, through no fault of their own…

Roger Marble
1 year ago
Reply to  DebG

Simply claiming a tire was “defective” because it came apart i.e. “failed” is the go-to for people who do not understand that tires can tolerate a lot of damage and not “fail” the instant they hit the big pothole or as soon as you start driving underinflated or over- loaded. Tire structural damage is cumulative and never irreversible. I challenge those making the claim to identify the specific “defect” in the individual tire but so far I have never been given an answer. I am not saying that mistakes in manufacturing have never been made, but when that happens there is usually a batch of tires all with the same mistake. When that occurs, usually in early life, the tires are recalled.

1 year ago

We had a belt separation that caused the second tread in to be slightly bulged out from the rest of the tire. Luckily, I could feel the vibration and we were able to get our spare put on, with no blowout. Got to our destination, where we were spending 5 days, and replaced that tire while their.

Roger Marble
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Glad you paid attention to the vibration warning.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

As a newbie pulling my Aliner popup, what I learned does not apply to folks with large, heavy or fast RV’s. Maintain your tire pressure, check your tires for damage, rarely drive over sixty MPH, and only if the roads are cool to the touch. When at your RV campground, check your site before parking. My thanks to the Escapees and the AOC training classes.