Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "tread" ...

  • Brian Ross Investigates: Tires-Cracking the Code

    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.
  • Tread Secrets: Evidence Disappearing

    Cooper Tire & Rubber Company settled many plaintiffs, hired an ex-con to retrieve evidence of tread failure at fatal crash sites, and were able to make judges seal the records in wrongful death and product liability cases.
  • Tread Secrets

    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.
  • "Columbia Final Mission"

    Reporters from ABC News investigate the tragedy of the Columbia space shuttle, which exploded on February 1, 2003, killing all seven astronauts on board. Over the course of six months, the reporters conducted their own independent investigation of the events that caused the Columbia accident. Reporters spoke with a series of safety officials, engineers, and flight director, Leroy Cain and discovered that a number of individuals tried to warn NASA about the possible problems with the vessel. As a result, ABC News released the findings two months before NASA released theirs, which managed to contain a lot of the same information. ABC News also played a large role in encouraging NASA to perform "a broad review of its safety and management practices."
  • Cold Calculation: Trial of a Sacked Pilot Offers an Inside Look at Airlines and Safety; Flight in Ice Storm, Deemed Risky by Carrier, Follows String of Alleged Errors; Hands off the Screwdriver

    Carley examines the case of former American Eagle pilot Michael LaGrotte, who was fired by the airline when he aborted a flight after noticing ice forming on the wings. American Eagle officials say LaGrotte should have piloted the plane to warmer air rather than turn around and land at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Carley investigates LaGrotte's claim that American Eagle pushes its pilots to fly in unsafe conditions, and examines the fine line airlines must tread between safety and profits.
  • The Crusader

    Bruce Kaster had been saying for fifteen years that a layer of nylon pasted over the steel belts in tires would decrease the chance of the tread peeling off on the highway, but no one listened. But more accidents occurred with Firestone tires and by the fall of 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "had officially blamed Firestone tires for 148 fatalities." Now the tire litigator's theories have finally become known. 'It's just kind of rewarding to find out that everything I was saying fifteen years ago-and it's just common sense-was right." Esquire Magazine profiles the fight Kaster is putting up against tire manufacturing companies and the kind of justice he wants to be upheld.
  • Blowout

    The National Journal examines how the Ford - Bridgestone/Firestone tire safety incident was a "case study in how corporations handle a Washington crisis." When the situation began in May of 2000, Ford was able to take immediate steps at diffusing the situation because of the large crisis response team it already had in place. Ford had a well-established Washington D.C. office for its lobbyists and legal teams to work out of as well as a PR firm to handle consumer issues. Conversely, Bridgestone/Firestone was left with no response team, and managed to take the majority of the flak for the recall. Bridgestone/Firestone went through several PR agency and legal firms during the course of the recall and subsequent Congressional hearings. As a result of the tire crisis Congress passed the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act, and Bridgestone/Firestone set up its first Washington office.
  • Treading on Danger?

    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."
  • Failing Tires Carry Fatal Consequences

    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."
  • The recall of Firestone tires used on Ford Explorers

    On Aug. 1, USA Today alerted the nation to a problem a Houston, Texas television discovered months earlier: the treads on Firestone tires had peeled apart on 90 Ford Explorers killing four people. USA Today's national coverage of the problem contributed to Firestone's eventual recall of the defective tires.