Tire fire and warranty

tires

#1

White smoke suddenly billowed out of the front right end of my 2006 Toyota Solara convertible while doing 65 mph on I66 in Northern Virginia. Wrestled the car riding on the right wheel to the breakdown lane and found the outboard sidewall was just charred flakes. Got the spare on. Have 7,500 miles on the Bridgestone Turanza EL 400s (more of a name for a disease than a tire). The Brigdestone-Firestone dealer showed me a 3/8 inch cut in the tread and argued that glass or some material had punctured the tread, caused heat to build up in the tire as the air pressure inside fell, which caused the smoke and burned out the sidewall. Therefore, the tire was not defective. Therefore, the warranty did not kick in because it does not cover road hazards, such as punctures, cuts, etc. Does this sound correct?



Would greatly appreciate replies as soon as possible. Thank you.


#2

Yes, it’s correct. It does not even take a cut tire for this to happen.
Run a tire that has suffered a normal loss of tire pressure over time and the same thing can happen when the sidewall is rubbed out of it.

My wife drove home one evening on a set of near new tires and totally ruined one in less than 30 miles because she had picked up a nail and the tire pressure had dropped to just below 15 PSI, which then led to the sidewall disentegrating.


#3

What OK4450 stated is correct. Road hazard warranties are no longer included on tires (unless you pay extra in some cases) and what occurred is, undoubtedly, the result of a road hazard.

Whether it was a nail or a piece of glass, the loss of pressure caused by the puncture led to a major reduction of pressure in the tire. The loss of pressure led to excess flexing of the sidewall of the tire. The excess flexing of the sidewall caused a buildup of heat, and this heat destroyed the structure of the sidewall. If you had been driving at low speeds, the process would have taken a bit longer. At high speed, it happens very quickly.

Sorry, but you have no claim against Bridgestone.


#4
I agree and might add that many drivers could (should?) feel that reduced pressure and should stop and investigate.  In the old days of bias ply tyres and old design suspensions it would have been easier to feel.

#5

You should have been able to feel a front tire going flat. With FWD cars, you can have a rear tire go flat and not notice it, but a front tire going flat will cause the car to pull to one side as well as feeling very unstable.

If you didn’t have a road hazard warrantee, a 3/8" cut in a tire is unrepairable, fire or no fire. That tire was a goner.


#6

Heck, in the case I mentioned regarding my wife she drove all of that distance on a tire with less than 15 PSI and was totally oblivous to it.

I got in the car after she got home and noticed instantly the right rear was sagging before I even turned the key.
Get out, go around, and sure enough the tire was half flat with a trashed sidewall.

“How was I to know it was near flat” she says. Well, maybe because the car was sagging and wallowing all over the road.


#7

Thank you. I didn’t get the answer I wanted, obviously, but I got the answer that makes sense, rings true and will save me a lot of time and grief trying to get a warranty to apply to what it does not cover.

I will add that I am pretty good at keeping my tires inflated to manufacturers specs. I felt the tire going flat when I saw the smoke. Therefore, the puncture, flat, burning must have happened very quickly. This is the first time I’ve had a “perfect puncture” in all the years I’ve been driving. Thanks again.


#8

I don’t care to get the warranty. except for the one that is free. I figure that if one pops I will just get another one. Tire place can’t be proven wrong so usually you are stuck for the bill.