You Should Put New Tires on Your Car Every Once in a While


This is hardly the most important topic in the world, but this story from ABC News sure left me scratching my head:

American tire companies have helped to defeat proposed laws in eight states that would require inspection of tires for age….”We oppose legislation that have some sort of age limit on tires,” said Dan Zielinski, executive director of the [Rubber Manufacturers of America].

In the most recent case, the trade group spent $36,000 on lobbyists to defeat proposed legislation in the state of Massachusetts that would have included the age of tires on regular vehicle inspections, according to ABC News’ Boston affiliate WCVB, which joined other top ABC News affiliate investigative teams around the country in a national hidden camera investigation into tire safety.

….For consumers, determining the age of a tire can be a daunting task. The date of production can be found in a unique code at the end of 11- or 12-digit identification number on the tire’s sidewall. But instead of the standard month/year display, the tire industry uses a week/year display. For example, a tire produced in early June of 2010 (in the 21st week of the year) would be displayed as 2110, instead of the more common 06/10 that most consumers are accustomed to seeing.

“They did not want to put a date code on tires, specifically because they did not want to give the impression that tires might actually have a service life,” said Kane, the safety consultant.

OK, but why do tire manufacturers oppose the idea that tires have a service life? Wouldn’t a recognized service life lead to more tire sales? I can think of dozens of industries that have successfully run ad campaigns urging consumers to replace items more often than they’re accustomed to, with the goal of selling more stuff. So what’s the difference here?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

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