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CBS2 Investigates: Faulty Tire Repairs Pose Serious Threat To Roadway Safety

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It could happen to anyone -- you're driving along and suddenly your tire gets a puncture.

And experts say before pulling into the nearest shop to have it fixed, you had better think twice.

A CBS2 investigation found faulty tire repairs are rampant, and are leading to a growing danger on the road.

Gwen Chattelle was left disabled after an accident when a tire blew.

"I used to take care of him and the children. Now, he takes care of me and the children," Chattelle told CBS2's Kristine Johnson.

Chattelle said that a shoddy tire repair robbed her of being a wife and mother.

"She's a quadriplegic," Roy Chattelle said.

Her three children and husband suffered minor injuries, but Chattelle broke her neck when one of the tires on their vehicle suddenly blew, flipping the car over five times.

"The right, rear tire, the one we had just repaired," Roy said, "I trusted the people that I took it to."

Like most people who find a nail or piece of glass in their tire, Chattelle pulled in for a quick repair so he could get back on the road.

But, as CBS2 uncovered, bad tire repairs are common, and put millions of drivers at risk.

"This is a dirty little secret," said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair.

Sinclair said that anything goes because there is no law requiring a specific standard in tire repair.

"We've heard about tires that are being repaired with spit and tape, some unscrupulous shops are using crazy glue, saw dust, plugging tires up with whatever is laying around," Sinclair said.

Al Eisenberg has been repairing tires on Long Island for more than 30 years. He said the only way to safely repair a tire is to remove it from the rim, inspect it for damage, and fix the puncture using a combo repair with both a plug and a patch, as recommended by tire makers and AAA.

"If an incorrect repair was done they are a time bomb. It's not a matter of if, but when that tire will blow," Eisenberg said. "You can't compromise on safety."

But some shops do compromise. It's all about the money and safety is at risk.

"The safest possible thing you can do if you have a tire problem is to buy a new tire," attorney Frank Melton said.

Melton has represented dozens of victims who have been injured in accidents caused by bad tire repairs, and said if you can't afford a new tire make sure you as how the tire is repaired, and go to a place that you trust.

"A place that holds itself out to the standard of care of a professional tire retailer. Fly by night shops, the guy on the side of the road that are cheap, walk away and go somewhere else," Melton said.

There is legislation pending in New York that would require a certain standard for repairing punctured tires, but critics say it's not enough because it doesn't require the tire to be removed from the rim and inspected for further damage.

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