Defective Tire Valve Stems Could Be Deadly
As Many As 6 Million Valve Stems Recalled After Defects Found, Contributed To One Roll-Over Fatality
SPECIAL REPORT--Imagine your family driving down the interstate at the 70 mile per hour speed limit leisurely in the right lane. You’re chatting with your spouse about vacation plans or with the kids about school when suddenly your vehicle lurches suddenly and veers to the passing lane with little warning. You wrench the steering wheel to keep from hitting the vehicle next to you. The weight of the vehicle shifts and nearly instantly the world is spinning and the car is being slammed violently over and over as your vehicle rolls over multiple times.
The chaotic scene occurred because of one small car part about the size of your small finger. In the months since your last tire rotation, a crack in the valve stem had begun to develop and the stress of the family trip caused the valve to completely rupture. Instantaneously one of your tires lost all of its air pressure and at interstate speed, your family became a statistic of survival or another tragic fatal accident that was preventable.
Recently, a distributor of valve stems in the United States, Tech International, recalled as many as 6 million valve stems that could be defective. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company will replace valve stems with non-defective valve stems free of charge. The company will replace any tire with structural damage that was caused by a defective valve stem. Tech International can be contacted at 1-740-967-9015.
Affected valve stems were distributed in 2006. Such valve stems could be on any vehicles bought new or having received new tires installed since then 2006.
While motorists are advised to have their tires checked professionally, the public can have a bit more peace of mind by inspecting the valve for any cracks themselves. This can be accomplished with a flashlight and a little patience.
Find the valve stem on all four wheels of your vehicle. You may want to check your spare tire, as well. Kneel down and shine your flashlight on each wheel, looking for the valve stem. Look at the valve stem where it enters the tire. Wiggle it around with your fingers slowly. Watch for telltale sign of separation or cracking in the black rubber tube that surrounds the metal valve.
If any cracks are detected, have the valve stems replaced as soon as possible and limit your highway driving until replaced. If no cracks are found, check the valve stems each month in a likewise manner and consider having them checked at your earliest convenience at an automotive center or tire store. Be sure to have the valve stems checked when having your tires rotated. Also keep a close watch on your tire pressure. If one tire seems to be losing air pressure noticeably more than the other tires, you may have a leak from a cracked valve stem.
This recall is very important as it could affect as many as 30 million tires on the road. The potential for a rollover accident is considerable if defective valve stems are present and if failure were to occur at high speed
The actual recall posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can be viewed by clicking here. Following the link, will take visitors to the NHTSA recall database. Select "Equipment"search and then scroll down the "Make" selection box to "Tech International." All recall information is available here.