View Poll Results: Should I looking into holding Michelin liable for the damages?
Yes - I look into legal options 1 1.85%
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Old 05-13-2020, 08:39 AM   #1
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2013 20' Flying Cloud
Silverdale , Washington
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Catastrophic Tire Failure - Significant Damage - Recommendations?

We travel in a 2013 20FB. In 2014 the original tires and wheels were upgraded to Michelin LTX M/S2 Tire Size, LT225/75R16 DOT B3JH 009X 4813. This swap was done at AS in Ohio while other warranty work was being completed.

Yesterday, after pre-underway checks were complete (specifically air pressure of tires), we were on the road. 70 mph on freeway. Clear road no debris or tire impact recognized.

Loud explosion, wife reports whole tread of tire shooting off trailer, second loud explosion seconds later results in remaining tire shredding. After replacement of tire and inspection of catastrophic failure tire - no tread was found on tire. Tire shredded badly. Damage is shown in photos - summary - wheel well ripped out, gas lines torn, looks like floor jumped 3-5" inside the coach (see gas line sealant displacement). Broken plastic pieces near the water pump, significant panel damage, etc.

Problem #1 - why does a properly inflated tire, not too old, without impact, have a catastrophic failure? https://www.michelinman.com/commercialLightTrucks.html
Reveals that while these tires are not included in the "Recall" similar dates and plant manufactured produced some unsafe tires close to the time these tires were made. Are there any tires one would recommend as replacements? I drive all roads from pristine freeways to off road to get to camp locations.

Problem #2 - now that I have significant damage to my coach - are there pitfalls to avoid while getting these items repaired?

Insurance is calling this a collision but they are willing to pay for the repairs. They are sending their appraiser to see it. I'm in contact with the Airstream NW repair shop and getting scheduled for repairs (significant delay due to Global Pandemic).

Are there problems I can't see? Things to make sure they check? Notice significant damage to jacking plate (bent) - does this mean frame damage? I'm still a little bit mental about the event and how to move forward.

Once I got the spare on it towed home 100 mile just fine. During the explosions the trailer towed well - thank you Equil-i-xer 4-point hitch.

Thank you all.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:42 AM   #2
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Tires manufactured in Nov 2013 would not be considered relatively new more like end of life.
Damage is petty extensive and expensive best repair service would be to take it back to Jackson AS factory.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:04 AM   #3
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I think you are lucky the insurance company will look at it. I think the tires were too old. I change mine after 4 years. Trailers are tougher on tires than cars or light trucks.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:08 AM   #4
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Once again the "radial tire blow-out" causing thousands of dollars of damage to an Airstream trailer.

I personally run nothing but the old "bias-ply" made tires on all my vintage Airstreams, which if they blow-out, normally do not cause this type of damage. But then again, folks think I'm crazy.

Sorry to see another Airstream owner have to go through this issue.

I would suggest after having the trailer repaired, use bias-ply tires in the future.

Good Luck, Stay Healthy,
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:12 AM   #5
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I agree that the tires had aged out, regardless of miles driven. Some get more, some get less just depending on how you take care of them and environmental conditions.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:13 AM   #6
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As garry mentioned, that tire is over 6 years old. Was age the cause? Who knows. We recently replaced all six tires on our Interstate because the tires were approaching 5 years from the date of manufacture. There are some airforums members who have significant experience in the tire industry - hopefully one or more of them will chime in.

Regarding repairs... be sure to have a reputable shop provide an estimate. There are some good shops on the west coast. Seems like some of the best shops on the west coast may be independent rather than Airstream dealers. Do some homework - there are several threads on the subject of locating repair shops and which ones perform good work. Don't simply trust the insurance adjuster to give you an appraisal of the work to be performed.

I've heard that you should not cash the check the insurance company provides until you are absolutely certain that everything is complete to your satisfaction. I'm told that if you don't cash the check you still have room for negotiating if the final repair tally is higher than expected. However, once the check is cashed you have less ability to obtain more dollars from the insurance company. That may be folklore but it's worth understanding the details - you don't want to get caught short.

The comment from rideair about bias ply tires is interesting. That approach is worth considering.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:54 AM   #7
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So sorry to see all the trouble. Very sad.

Short of a defect, age is certainly one factor in tread separation, the other big one would be any previous history of high temperatures, either short duration extreme temperatures due to a short period of under inflation or longer duration exposure to high road temperatures combined with slight under inflation.

Looking at the photos, I'd say the floor did not raise rather the gas lines were pushed up. Not sure what the broken plastic is.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:23 AM   #8
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Just looking at that damage is painful. Thank goodness your insurance will cover it. Sorry you are so far from the factory. Hope members nearer to you know good places to take your trailer.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:27 PM   #9
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A common cause of a tire blowout is a slow leak. You pick up a nail, the tire gets low, the low pressure causes extra flexing of the sidewalls which causes heat, the heat causes the blowout. Because the low tire is on a trailer, you don't "feel" the low pressure like you would on the tow vehicle.


Did you have a tire pressure monitoring system?
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaPepper View Post
We travel in a 2013 20FB. In 2014 the original tires and wheels were upgraded to Michelin . . . DOT B3JH 009X 4813 . . .
. . .
Welcome to the forum!

As a fellow FC20 owner, this is not fun to see . . . sorry for your losses . . . but glad that you are both OK. The damage could have been much worse IMO, and we are constantly aware of the blow-out risks we take with our single-axle trailers. FWIW we got new tires last fall.

The DOT date of manufacture for your tires is "4813" or the 48th week of 2013, if I am reading this correctly.

https://tires.tirerack.com/tires/Dot...%20Manufacture
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...jsp?techid=11&

Thus your tires are over 6 years old. Although not seriously outdated, some of the responsibility here is on you, unfortunately, especially with a single-axle trailer. [IMO] Any chance that tire was damaged by a curb-strike or debris on the road? Another factor, which Michelin would also raise if asked to cover the alleged "defective tire" IMO.

"Go after Michelin" . . . given the above? Not a productive avenue to explore IMO. Glad your insurance will cover it.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:37 PM   #11
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If I were you I would insist that your insurance carrier handle the claim under the “comprehensive” part of your policy and not under the “collision” part of the policy. The former is logged as a “no fault” payment and the latter is logged as an “at fault” payment. The difference is that a “no fault” payment under your policy is not a strike against you for insurance rating purposes but an “at fault” payment is a strike against you for rating purposes. It could make a big difference with your insurance availability and cost going forward. Feel free to PM me and I’ll explain in more detail.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:59 PM   #12
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Michelin specifically does not manufacture any tire for trailer service. They have said so repeatedly over the years when asked and, al least recently, it was on their website. There is no point in even bringing it up with them. Since Airstream installed them, well, maybe you could make the argument that they have some responsibility.

In the end, though, I think the response you would receive from anyone involved is that the tires aged out. Trailer service is tougher on tires than you think.
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:50 PM   #13
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7 years....wow... I would not go over 5 ,if traveling much...tires are not made to be a long term investment...
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:05 PM   #14
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Trailer tires need to be replaced every 5 years regardless if used sparingly. Let insurance cover the comprehensive cost and be sure to check the new tire(s).
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjcjr View Post
If I were you I would insist that your insurance carrier handle the claim under the “comprehensive” part of your policy and not under the “collision” part of the policy. The former is logged as a “no fault” payment and the latter is logged as an “at fault” payment. The difference is that a “no fault” payment under your policy is not a strike against you for insurance rating purposes but an “at fault” payment is a strike against you for rating purposes. It could make a big difference with your insurance availability and cost going forward. Feel free to PM me and I’ll explain in more detail.
Well the coverage for damage to the trailer falls under trailer comprehensive but in terms of assigning fault, no, they likely won't agree to do that, i doubt they will say this is a freak occurrence or act of god. The actuaries have already assigned "responsibility/cause" for tire failure and I doubt they will negotiate their position away. Good luck though.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Well the coverage for damage to the trailer falls under trailer comprehensive but in terms of assigning fault, no, they likely won't agree to do that, i doubt they will say this is a freak occurrence or act of god. The actuaries have already assigned "responsibility/cause" for tire failure and I doubt they will negotiate their position away. Good luck though.
I had a similar occurrence. The damage was paid for under my “comprehensive” policy coverage. The incident was also designated at my insistence as “no fault” of mine for insurance rating purposes. I’ve also helped several others achieve the same result under similar circumstances.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:46 PM   #17
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Appreciate the feedback. A lot of good information from these posts. I'll get into the threads and look for the good shops.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:50 PM   #18
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I look forward to looking into bias plys. My coach only has two tires so I've felt like i should lean towards a beefier tire - but when blow outs happen - damage. Hard to know what the right answer is sometimes. A trailer will teach you so much
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:52 PM   #19
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I don't have TPMS on my trailer. I check the pressure as part of "pre-underways" but that won't help on the road. I will for sure be getting a TPMS for my replacement tires. Thank you for the feedback!
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:57 PM   #20
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2013 20' Flying Cloud
Silverdale , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Welcome to the forum!

As a fellow FC20 owner, this is not fun to see . . . sorry for your losses . . . but glad that you are both OK. The damage could have been much worse IMO, and we are constantly aware of the blow-out risks we take with our single-axle trailers. FWIW we got new tires last fall.

The DOT date of manufacture for your tires is "4813" or the 48th week of 2013, if I am reading this correctly.

https://tires.tirerack.com/tires/Dot...%20Manufacture
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...jsp?techid=11&

Thus your tires are over 6 years old. Although not seriously outdated, some of the responsibility here is on you, unfortunately, especially with a single-axle trailer. [IMO] Any chance that tire was damaged by a curb-strike or debris on the road? Another factor, which Michelin would also raise if asked to cover the alleged "defective tire" IMO.

"Go after Michelin" . . . given the above? Not a productive avenue to explore IMO. Glad your insurance will cover it.

Good luck,

Peter
I didn't know how to read DOT numbers before this incident - lesson is learned. AS in Jackson Center put the tires on in Fall of 2014. Drivers tire was even older with 2313 DOT number. I, not knowing about DOT numbers, thought - replace at 6 yrs from date of installation. Hard to imagine the tires could have been sitting at TREDIT in IN for a year before installation - but lesson is learned and I know now. Thank you.
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