The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "tread separation" ...
This report investigates the little-known hazard of the road - aged tires that have exceeded their shelf life. Most motorists only look at the depth of a tire's tread to determine if it is safe enough to use. However, our investigation revealed that as tires get older, even if they've never been driven a mile, they can dry out, and after six years of age, can become dangerous. Experts say aged tires have led to numerous fatalities, yet motorists have been kept in the dark about the issue.
In this story, KNXV created a database of lawsuits against Cooper Tires relating to accidents caused by tire tread separation by obtaining internal documents from an inside source at Cooper. The documents reveal that Cooper knew of the tire defects but chose not to remedy them in order to save money. The story led to legal action by Cooper against KNXV to prevent rebroadcast and uncover the inside source of documents.
KHOU-TV began investigating car tires that lost their tread in December of 1999 "after receiving viewer complaints and a tip from a local Houston lawyer about the tire." Through interviews with victims and lawyers, KHOU found 30 deaths that were connected to "tread separation on ATX tires. And most of all, we didn't stop at Texas but for the first time started assembling a national snapshot of similar accidents in states such as New Mexico, California, Florida, Arizona, etc."
The Chicago Sun-Times was the first newspaper to cover the tread separation on Firestone radial tires. The story was first broken by a Houston-area television station. The defective Firestone tires did not become a national story until USA Today picked it up in early August. The Chicago Sun-Times also was the first to document similar problems in other tiremakers, "revealing that General Tire misled investigators about the extent of problems with their tires."