Safety Concerns About Aging Tires
SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Safety concerns about aging tires and whether they can cause fatal accidents. Safety advocates say aging increases the risk of dangerous and often deadly tire failures.
American tire companies have helped defeat proposed laws in eight states that would require inspection of tires for age.
ABC Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross has been investigating and told ABC40’s Dave Madsen on Wednesday that Massachusetts was one of the states where the tire industry trade group, the Rubber Manufacturers of America, defeated inspection legislation.
Ross adds, “They spent $36,000 to defeat that legislation, and they feel it’s not an issue that age…doesn’t really matter despite the fact that Ford, GM and Chrysler all recommend to their owners that after manufacture they should be replaced. Not six years of use, but six years after the date the tire was manufactured. We have tracked a number of fatal accidents that involved aged tires and now the NTSB, which does the big airline crashes, now they’re going to focus for the first time ever on tires and tire safety.”
Madsen: “Brian, what do these accidents involve? Does it blow or because the tire is a little bit drier comes off the rim, or things like that or just a combination of things?”
Ross: “Exactly. It’s more than just losing the air. What often happens is the tread separates from the tire. And that’s a serious event especially if you’re travelling at high speeds. Even skilled professional drivers in tests, when they knew it was about to happen they still couldn’t control the vehicle.”
Madsen: “Is it big named tire companies, big name franchises that are selling these tires or the little Mom and Pop shops?”
Ross: “It’s both. We have small tire companies in the South and big name stores selling tires that were recalled as you’ll see in our reports tonight.”
The investigation also found that 80 percent of the tires recalled for safety defects are still on the road.
You can find out the age of your tires. The date of production can be found at the end of an 11 or 12 digit identification number of the tires sidewall.
The tire industry uses a week/year display. As you can see from my car, the tires were made in the 9th week of 2010. That would be the first week of March.
You can see Brian Ross’ full report tonight on World News with Diane Sawyer at 6:30 p.m. and on Nightline, following Jimmy Kimmel Live.