RICHMOND, Va. -- A new report by the National Transportation Safety Board found the vast majority of tire dealers do not register tires with the manufacturer for recall purposes, meaning customers can’t be located when their tires are recalled.
Four crashes in 2014 involving tire failure killed 12 people and injured 42 others, which prompted the NTSB’s special investigation.
Among them, a crash involving a church van where its left rear tire thread separated causing the vehicle to roll over killing two people.
That tire was recalled 19 months earlier.
The NTSB found that in a typical tire recall just one in every five effected tires are returned to the manufacturer.
“I feel less safe now, I think,” Austin Mills, a new car-owner, said.
The numbers mean a lot of people are driving around on defective tires and they don’t know it.
Mills said he doesn't know if his tires are registered with the manufacturer.
There is no law currently on the books requiring tire dealers to register tires when making a sale, but the NTSB is now recommending the feds mandate tire registration.
Jonathan Axselle replaces hundreds of tires a week at his auto repair shop in Lakeside, Axselle’s Auto Service.
When he put on a fresh tire, he said he always registers a new tire and its new owner with the tire manufacturer in case there is ever a recall.
“You would enter the customers first name, last name, address, city, state,” Axselle said.
Axselle said he would support the mandate if the registration process is simplified.
He said it’s very time consuming.
“Having everybody have to register every set of tires on a different website is very difficult. I think if there was one website where everybody could go to to register all tires it could be very simple,” Axselle said.
The NTSB recommends that the feds work with the automotive and tire industry to develop a streamlined, computerized process for dealers to register tires.