Goodyear has announced the recall of 40,000 light truck tires. In terms of total tires sold, this is a fairly small recall, but it is very important if you happen to own some of the recalled tires. The tires in question are the Wranger Silent Armor Light Truck (LT) series produced between March 1, 2009 and May 31, 2009. The sizes are LT235/80R17, LT245/75R17, LT265/70R17, LT275/70R18, LT285/70R17, and LT325/60R18.
If you own any of the recalled tires, chances are you will be notified by mail. Most often, when you buy tires, their serial numbers are recorded along with your contact information and sent to the tire manufacturer for just these kinds of circumstances. Notification is scheduled to begin on March 22, 2012. If you suspect your tires are part of this recall and you don’t receive notification, contact your local GoodYear Tire Store.
The problem related to these tires is called tread separation. This is one of the most common types of tire failure.
A tire is constructed of several layers of reinforced rubber (each layer is called a “ply”). Included between some layers are bands of steal mesh (called “belts”)—this is all under the tread surface. The tread, along with all of the layers, are bonded using a heat process called vulcanization. Something went wrong during the construction process of these tires, which has made them more prone to tread separation.
Tread separation is when the layers under the tread begin to come apart. As pressurized air from inside the tire enters the damaged area of the tire, a ‘bubble” will form in the tread or on the sidewall. As this occurs, a vibration will be noticed while driving due to the irregular shape of the tire. This is your warning signal before the tire will actually fail.
These specific tires are being recalled, but tread separation can happen to any tire. It is most commonly a result of excessive heat buildup in the tire due to under inflation. This is just one of many reasons it is important to regularly check your tire pressure!
If you begin to feel an unusual vibration while driving, you should reduce your speed and pull off to the side of the road as soon as it is safe. If a quick inspection reveals a tire problem, calling for help would be recommended. If no tire problem is seen, driving to a local repair shop at a sharply limited speed should be okay.
It is very important to take note of an unusual vibration while driving—failure to do so can result in compete tire failure, which all too often leads to a rollover type crash. It is always better to be safe than sorry!