Friday, May 09, 2008
ABC 20-20 "new" tires may actually be old and can fail at high speeds
Tonight, Friday May 9, ABC 20/20 carried an important safety report about aged tires. The industry has been saying that tires over six years old represent a risk of sudden failure because of chemical breakdown of the tires with age. Many tires sold as new may already be over six years old, or become that old before much tread wear has occurred. These sorts of tire failure may lead to catastrophic loss of control of the vehicle on the road and have led to fatalities.
The consumer can look on the inside outer surface of the tire (must look underneath the car, as this is not consumer friendly) at the Department of Transportation Number. The last number on the right is a code in this format WW-Y. 467 would be the 46th week in 1997 (over 10 years old). 3103 would be the 31st week of 2003 (less than five years old, but would be over six years in about a year of use if purchased now as new).
Britain requires notification of motorists of ages of their tires since manufacture, but the US does not. There is some disagreement in the industry as to the seriousness of the problem and the data on probability of failure is not completely clear from the report.
The link is here.
20/20 also carried a story on “Intrade,” phantom stock on presidential candidates.