System to Report Defective Tires ‘Completely Broken': Official

The federal recall system that is supposed to keep potentially dangerous car tires off the road is "completely broken," federal officials said Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

At a meeting in Washington, accident investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said that while each year tire problems cause 33,000 accidents and kill 500-plus motorists, only one in five defective tires is being taken out of service via recalls. More than half of recalled tires remain in use, investigators found.

"Based on the work we did, that system is not working," said Dr. Rob Molloy, acting director of the NTSB's Office of Highway Safety. "It is completely broken."

The problem, according to an NTSB report, is that tire manufacturers can't reach tire owners to warn them. Independent tire dealers aren't required to register the tires they sell with manufacturers, and so most don't. Though 3.2 million tires were recalled between 2009 and 2013, most of the drivers using them were unaware of the recalls.

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