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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > How To File a Tire Failure Complaint

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JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/09/12 11:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Fellow Campers,

This summer I had 3 tires failures on the camper. See this thread for details of the saga;
ST Tire Failure Analysis (Long - Lots of Pics)

After researching trying to figure out why I had the failures I ran into something I never realized. With all the RV tire failures we hear about many, if not most, are never reported. The owner may tell their tire dealer about it, replace it, fix the trailer damage and move on. In fact I never knew who too even report the failure too if I had realized I should report it? In my case Sunline, my TT manufacture, is out of business and in my case so is my tire manufacture. So what good would it do? Well, it can do a lot once reported to the right organization. The factory who made my tires in Mexico may still be in operation even if the parent company is out of business.

Then I learned about how to report a tire failure to the organization who actually tracks this information and has the authority to do an investigation and force action pending the outcome. This organization is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. I have an RV buddy who is a retired tire engineer and has a blog on tires. See here, RV Tire Safety He helped point me this way.

Telling your tire dealer may create some conversion between you and them, however action may not come from it. They are not required to report individual failures that I am aware of, however they may report it back to their supplier if the quantities of failures are large enough. I have heard it is thousands of failures.

NHTSA will start an investigation if they get enough complaints and with the right info contained, to do an investigation. There is for sure a problem in the RV industry with trailer tires. On our forum alone, several have had tire failures this year. Hopefully we as campers can help the cause with a little talk and action about filing a complaint with NHTSA. If you have a tire failure here is how to report it. The process is not hard but can be confusing if you have never done this before.

Here is the web site. Home | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Hopefully this thread will help explain the process. You first start with gathering up some information. I typed mine up on MS Word and then cut and pasted it in.

My report is below. The items in Red you need to round up. Things that are not needed. They do not need to know why you were heading to Aunt Sue’s for the family picnic or that it took you many days to get there. They really only want to know the facts about the tire, the camper and the way it failed.

In my case I had to file 3 reports and I linked the 3 by the NHTSA number they give you when the report is done. Each tire gets its own report. While my report has details to help them work through an investigation, if you do not have the weight slips, STILL file the report. The only way they will investigate is if the complaints are high enough.

Also ideal is to keep the failed tire in case they want to test it. Let them know you have the tire. If you have to give the tire to the tire dealer, warranty or other needs, get the information off the tire before turning it in. Take pictures of the failures. Direct sunlight is best for pics of black tires.

Quote:

This compliant is for a tandem axle trailer tire failure used on travel trailer camper. There are 3 tires failures with the set of 4 on my travel trailer. This report is for the first tire.

The tire in question is a Denman ST225/75R15 Load range D.
Type: ST Express Radial
DOT code: 4FEH M5M 1908
Tire installed: 4-5-2009
First tire failure observed on 4-21-2012
Miles used until failure noticed, 10,164 miles
Towing speed: 55 to max of 60 mph as standard towing speed on highway.
Air pressure of 65 psi checked at the start of each camping trip.
Tire failure occurred when the tire was mounted in the left rear position.
I have certified scaled weight slip that can be provided of the camper after the failure. The rear axle load is 4,040# on both rear tires. The total rated capacity of the rear tires are: 2,540 x 2 = 5,080# at 65 psi cold pressure.
Camper VIN 1LC2S2PXXXXXXXXXXX
Camper Manufacture: Sunline Coach Company, Denver, PA
Model Travel Trailer: Solaris SR, T310SR,

I am the original purchaser of these tires which replaced the original tires on this camper. The size, load range and inflation pressure match the OEM tire placard. I have pictures and can send if needed.

The tire had a tread bulge increasing the OD of the tire in an approx. 180 degrees of the tire and was found during camper axle maintenance. The tire was removed from service upon finding on 4-21-2012 before total failure occurred during travel and to prevent camper damage.

The tire was sent to a tire engineer and sectioned for analysis. Name can be provided if needed. I have pictures that can be provided to match with the engineers report along with his name and address. The report declared the tire failed due to detachment.

The failed tire was replaced with a new tire of the same size and load range, however a different brand.

I have all pictures and remains of the tire if needed for further investigation. Contact me for more.
They limit the characters. The format on the site is none…. Meaning it will scramble any nice clean format into one sentence after another. They will strip out any personal info before it posts live on their site. The only thing personal in the report was my VIN and they X’ed it out. Your email, home address and phone number is kept private. The main complaint is public.

Here are some pics of what to look for on the tire. The size, load range, brand and model of tire
[image]



Here is a must. The entire DOT code. You need all the letters and numbers
[image]


The load capacity is here
[image]

Your camper VIN is on your registration or many times on the front left side of your camper on a sticker by the front clearance light.

Here is how to get to the report area: (this may change from time to time as the web site is updated)

Go to . http://www.safercar.gov/

Go to the “Vehicle Owners” tab
[image]


Go to “Safety Compliant” under Defects and Recalls
[image]

Go to "Child Seat, Equipment or Tire Complaint"
[image]

Now you are in…. Here is where you cut and paste in your complaint, and fill out all the rest of the questions....
[image]

For sake of a really long post...I am not going to list every step, you keep following the “next” key from screen to screen filling in info along the way.

I will bring up some areas that had me scratching my head on how to get past. Eventually I figured it out.

When you get to the screen that asks for mileage, they “do not” want a comma in the mileage. It will throw an error. My 10,164 it did not like. It took 10164 just fine.
[image]

Sunline Coach Company is not in their data base. So I had no manufacture. You have to get past this screen. The only thing I could do was to pick, “Unknown” and I typed in Sunline Coach Company in my complaint description.
[image]
When you get all done, you can print it. Do so and keep it. They also issue a complaint number. I issued my 3 complaints in early July. I have not heard anything from them. And I may never hear anything from them until the complaints get high enough.

Hope this helps and encourages you to file a complaint on your tire failures.

John

* This post was edited 12/09/12 11:18am by JBarca *


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 12/09/12 02:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hard to imagine what useful outcome would be expected unless you can prove your driving, maintenance history with the tires. ANY tire can fail under some conditions and without that informaiton just knowing that you have some that failed is of little help to anyone. Of course all that being said, probably can't hurt anything either but ST tire failures are pretty well documented with the NTSB.


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

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Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 12/09/12 03:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Jbarca for taking the time and effort to make us aware that this site is available.
While the government site may gives us somewhere to vent and log an official complaint, I'm skeptical if it will actually do any good.
If the government,tire manufactures,RV manufactures, RV dealers and tire dealers are not aware of problems with ST tires at this point shame on them.
Do they really need to refer to the website to validate the issue.


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TURK2500

SE Michigan

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Posted: 12/09/12 05:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

skipnchar wrote:

Hard to imagine what useful outcome would be expected unless you can prove your driving, maintenance history with the tires. ANY tire can fail under some conditions and without that informaiton just knowing that you have some that failed is of little help to anyone. Of course all that being said, probably can't hurt anything either but ST tire failures are pretty well documented with the NTSB.


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JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 12/09/12 06:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

skipnchar wrote:

Hard to imagine what useful outcome would be expected unless you can prove your driving, maintenance history with the tires. ANY tire can fail under some conditions and without that informaiton just knowing that you have some that failed is of little help to anyone. Of course all that being said, probably can't hurt anything either but ST tire failures are pretty well documented with the NTSB.


Hi Skip,

The goal is help create useful information that is "complete" to the NHTSA and help fellow camper folks be aware of how and where to report it.

If everyone on every camping forum that had a tire failure sent in a "complete" report we might get attention. If they kept the tire, they may even be able to inspect it. And having weight slips may be really be good pieces of evidence to help sort this out.

As far as the NHTSA being well documented on trailer tire complaints, can you help explain how you came to this conclusion? I myself do not know how many complete complaints are needed before they start an investigation.

If "we" do not file the complaints, who will?

JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Joined: 12/16/2004

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Posted: 12/09/12 07:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

Thanks Jbarca for taking the time and effort to make us aware that this site is available.
While the government site may gives us somewhere to vent and log an official complaint, I'm skeptical if it will actually do any good.
If the government,tire manufactures,RV manufactures, RV dealers and tire dealers are not aware of problems with ST tires at this point shame on them.
Do they really need to refer to the website to validate the issue.


Hi Lantley,

Thanks for the good words. Much appreciated.

If all camper owners are aware of the problems, know how to help prevent tires problems, and then file a complete complaint properly, hopefully this will do some good.

Hopefully by talking about tire failures, taking action in reporting them with complete information we can hit critical mass and move the needle to help the problem. The internet has connected us to information never before this easily available. RV.net alone has helped many campers sort out problem with WD hitches, how to dump the black tank, how to help match a TV to a TT and the list goes on.

There is also an education piece to the tire problem. Under inflation and overloading can all be prevented by the average RV'er. It will take some realization and education to help fix this. While we are doing this, we can add the tire complaint part for the rigs that are under the weight ratings, towing under the speed ratings and still having failures.

And then their is the sizing issues in the industry. We are in the infancy stages but I am seeing some movement. I do not know all of them however Artic Fox now has up-sized the tires and load capacity above the GVWR over where they use to be. Heartland on their 5r's at least offers a running gear upgrade if you ask, request it and pay for it. Hopefully this will spread across the industry. I know if I ever buy a new camper I now know to really drill down into the running gear and it is sized right or no deal.

Thanks

John

BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 12/10/12 08:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lets all be careful what we post here. RV.net is not the place to start campaigns or petition drives. This post by JBarca is a good one and was put here to help educate other RVers but not to drum up business for a campaign. If that happens then I am pretty sure that will cause the thread to be closed or deleted. We welcome comments on the thread and posting of personal experiences and thoughts but lets not turn it into a vendetta.
Thank you.
Barney


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
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Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD


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