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Your Tires May Be A
Ticking Time Bomb
Report courtesy of www.data4science.net
This serious tire problem is under-reported, and is probably the most serious threat to your life and millions worldwide. Even if you are mainly a city driver who only makes short trips can still affect you. Many vehicles have tires which are several years old. It makes no difference whether it's a car, truck, SUV or any other vehicle. We've put this life-saving information together based on stills from a recent ABC news video for people who cannot play streaming video.
The threat to all of us is tire AGING. Recently it has been disovered that tires older than 6 years, whether still on a vehicle or just bought in a store and installed on a vehicle, can easily self-destruct at highway speeds. You will not see the failure coming as this is taking place inside the tire. It is a myth that tires are not defective until cracks in the rubber appear. Tread can separate from the tire causing catastrophic failure. Tires dry out, and with today's rubber there may not be any visible signs a failure is happening until a fatal accident occurs.
Even worse, ABC news reporters found that Sears, Walmart and other well known stores frequently have OLD tires on the shelves being sold as new. It's still currently legal to sell these tires because there are no expiration dates established by any government, whether it be the United States or the UK. But as you'll soon discover, tires SHOULD have expiration dates.
Fig. 1 ­ Relatively new tire that killed a driver when the tread separated. Note the destroyed rim and vehicle it's still mounted on.
Fig. 2 ­ Brand new tire showing plenty of tread depth. Yet this tire is 14 years old and is being sold as NEW.
Fig. 3 ­ Evidence of tire failures are everywhere along highways.
Information NOT shown in the ABC report:
Contrary to popular belief, not all of these are retread tires that have failed. Retread tires have been outlawed in most states as unsafe and cannot be sold there. Imagine a retread factory putting a new tread on an OLD tire ­ one whose rubber is already drying out. It would be the creation of yet another ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Is the risk really worth the little money that's saved?
Many tractor trailers are using retread tires to save money. The aging tire lawsuit may signal the end of these tires, too.
Fig. 4 ­ Warehouse in Corpus Christi, Texas. Only vehicles are stored here that were in accidents as a result of tire failures. Vehicles have been collected for a class action lawsuit about tire age. Many people were killed in these accidents. (One doesn't need to be an insurance appraiser to see these vehicles are all total losses.)
Fig. 5 ­ Tread separation and destruction on one of the vehicles stored in the warehouse
Fig. 6 ­ Ford letter to the government requesting the NHTSA government agency create a 6 year age limit on tires
Fig. 7 ­ A family of three people died in this accident from tire failure. This vehicle is also stored in the warehouse shown earlier. A picnic cooler, children's toys and sneakers are still shown in the video in the back seat.
To read the date code on tires made before 2007, you will probably need to get down on the ground with a flashlight and look at the back side of the tire. For front tires, turning the steering wheel to face the tire outwards will help. Details on how to read tire codes are show below.
Fig. 8 ­ How to read the date code showing when a tire was manufactured. This code will be found at the end of a long string of manufacturer numbers on a tire. On some tires each number will appear in an individual circle. Note this code is four digits long. Four digit codes are only used on tires after 1999.
Fig. 9 ­ Three digit code on a tire made before 2000. This tire was made in the 17th week of 1999. If your tire shows a three digit code whether new or old DON'T USE IT! If it's on your vehicle REPLACE IT! Such a tire is already ten years old or more and can kill you and your family.
In the ABC video at a test track, a vehicle with safety outriggers and a professional driver at the wheel lost control when a simulated tire failure took place. What chance does any driver have when a tire self-destructs and they don't know it's about to happen?
If this report saves just one life it was well worth the effort.
Ted Twietmeyer
VIDEO: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4826897
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