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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Your "new" car or RV tires could kill you

Your car or RV tires may be ticking time bombs, ready to explode even though they look brand new. Did you know that even when you buy a brand new tire -- from places like Sears, Wal-Mart, Goodyear or other reputable stores -- the tires may be old and dangerous, even though they have never been driven a single mile? An ABC News report shows how widespread the practice is of selling old (and deadly) tires, and how you can determine the age of your own tires (there is a secret, hard-to-understand code on each one). The fact is, once a tire is six or seven years old, it is dangerous -- no matter how much tread remains. In a second its tread could peel right off the tire -- sending your car out of control. But what this startling report shows is that some tires that old -- and even older -- are being sold every day at stores as “brand new.” Take 10 minutes to watch this disturbing report. It may save your life or the one of someone you love.


  1. Hi from Ga... Thanks for sharing. I'm on my way to look at the 6 new tires on my RV.I'll share tis info with every one I know.

  2. I don't understand the tire industry's stand on this. Seems to me if your tires don't last as long as thought, they would sell more tires. Duhhhhh....

  3. Hi.

    This is really an important issue. We had an RV tire blow and we did not lose control, but it took out our black water holding tank and part of a wheel well.

    BTW has anyone seen research on how effective different measures are for preserving tires? For example, UV covers put on tires. Or, the latest thing, having the air in tires replaced with 100% nitrogen?

  4. Thanks for that report. I hadn't seen it on TV.

    Couple of thoughts... if the date code is located on the inside face of the tire, it seems that the only way to inspect the outer dually is to remove it from the vehicle. Myself, I'll probably take my rig to a tire shop and ask them to do that for me. My rig is less than three years old, but the tires could be much older.

    I wonder about the age of tires on rental RVs. Folks who rent RVs can be overwhelmed with information about how to operate the rigs and all its systems. They probably never think about the tires -- especially the age of the tires.

  5. Mine were 6 years old. I was going to replace them at the end of the season. A month ago a right year "delaminated" doing minor damage to the wheel well. The old "Don't wait untill iy's too late" sure does apply.

  6. I just had two tires blow out on my 2005 fifth wheel trailer while on a trip. I thought I had hit something in the road, but now I am not sure. I will replace all four tires, but I intend to inspect them first.

  7. I buy my RV tires from Les Schwab in Washington or Oregon. The installers have always pointed out and explained the manufacture date on the sidewall.

  8. My 2005 Fleetwood Cougar that I bought used in 2007 showed signs of a blowout including damage to the fender and other indications, and that rig was only two years old. I just last month noticed that alot of cracks or checkering was appearing on my tires, I contacted the MFR, Fleetwood who sent me to the tire mfr. I read off the DOT code to them and they no questions asked sent me out 5 new tires, including one to replace the spare the previous owner had lost. No charge. I was supprised to see how fast they reacted. Now I guess I know why. Watch your tires folks. RV'rs out there check your lug nuts too or you may be passed by your tire!!

  9. Warren, Dont forget your SPARE!!!

  10. Before selling my last 5th wheel, which only had 2,000 miles on it, we had to replace all of the tires. Upon preparing for a long trip, we did have the intelligence to check the tires, had them rotated etc. The persaon working with us phoned us to let us know that one was about to blow. It had a bubble & would go at anytime. We went on to replace all of them. Upon contacting a manager at a reputable manager in Fl., we were also warned about parking on concrete. What we now do, is park atop of wood and faithfully use the UV covers. When talking with others, we offer these suggestions along with a few others. Do keep an eye on the tire pressure, use a rubber protector, rotate & balance, try avoiding debrise on the roads etc.
    Happy trails to All.

  11. This information has been out there for many years - in the literature. So why does the american public claim not to be able to know about this? Do we have to put tire warnings (and a million others) on TV every day before we can be sure that americans learn this information? Why don't we just make individuals accept the responsibility for reading and following their owner's manual?

    Honestly, now, have YOU read the owners manuals for your complex multicomponented Recreational vehicle? Are there any notes in the margins?

    1. I suppose you must also be the one guy who reads and fully comprehends the EULA notice on software? Or do you just click YES and cruise on? Anyway, what would be so bad about stamping the tire with "Remove from service by MMM-YYYY" instead of a deliberately cryptic date code? Or maybe we could tie this to manufacturer's reputation and responsibility; how about "Warranty expires MMM-YYYY"? That would say that the manufacturer says that, after so many years, you are on your own in using their product. Consumers could then choose how much they value quality in their purchase.

  12. SHvnDave
    You are absolutely 100% correct.

    people complain about government requlations and laws that require you to wear a seatbelt or helmet. BUT as soon as you get hurt you go find a lawyer so you can sue McDonalds for serving hot coffee or perhaps when you trip over your own child who was running around a store because you failed to control them.
    Take responsibility for your own actions.

  13. SHvnDave may have a point about people who trip over their own children and not paying attention to everyday things, but I somehow doubt that they stick the translation for those little tire codes in the owner's manuals.

    Also, even if they did read them, there is the constant disinformation like that guy in the video, claiming there is no basis for the reasoning and that a 14 year old tire that has never been driven is perfectly safe. You saw the damn video, use some commen sense. A guy KNEW a tire was old and he STILL sold it saying it was fine.

    It isn't just plain and simple ignorance, it's people getting told one thing by the news or friends or other sources, and then being told something altogether different when they go to get that new tire.

    So you can babble on all you want about it always, ALWAYS being the consumer's fault, but when push comes to shove, it isn't. And if you can't accept that, then you're just fooling yourself.

  14. I guess what I don't understand is how it is legal for these companies to sell tire tubes
    that are past their age. This is putting the consumer in a serious endangerment. How has there not been a lawsuit or case filed yet?

  15. I am not aware of any law that has yet been written concerning the maximum age for tires or tubes. There are recomendations that tires be replaced as early as 6 years to as late as 10 years. The problem is, there is no hard technical proof that tires are OK at 5 years 11 months and 29 days but that all tires are bad a couple of days later.
    Tires are complex. Consumer usage varies greatly. The DOT and the major tire companies have been working for over 7 years trying to develop a reliable and repeatable test for establishing when a tire is "too old".
    Think of something simple like the date on milk. Has anyone ever had it go bad before the date? Does it always go bad the day after the date?

    A final comment. Can you imagine all the screaming about Government interferance if a law was passed saying it was illegal to use tires older than X number of years?

  16. Thanks for the comments.

    In general this seems like an RV issue rather than in general. RVs are the only vehicles which regularly go beyond the 5 to 7 year time frame for tires.

    At this point I am replacing every 7 years regardless of external visual condition. Note that the tire codes are not that hard to read. Check on internet sites for decoding information.

  17. Wow that's incrediable,,,, I never heard of this before,,,, but I'm going to check all my tires now,,,especially on my new truck that I pull our RV with,,,, and our 5th wheel,,,, it's two years old,,,, it really bothers me that the industry has double standards on this issue,,, hopefully now in 2012,,,,, it's not going on,,, but I wouldn't doubt it,,,, thanks for the story it opened my eyes now I will be more aware.

  18. Tony, You do realize this story is over 4 years old and is based on a story originally done in 2001 based on an accident with 13 year old tires on an overloaded van.
    Maybe you need to ask about the warranty on any "new" tires you buy. Does the one or 3 or 4 year warranty start based on the tire manufacturer date as molded in the tire or does the clock start on the date the tires are placed in service?
    Much more important than the calender age of the tires is the use history. Were they ever run overloaded? Over 57% of RVs have one or more tire or axle overloaded. Were the tires ever run faster than their speed rating? ST type RV tires havs a 65 mph MAX speed. Were the tires ever run "flat" This means 20% or mor low in inflation? If the tire had a puncture was it properly repaired os just plugged?

  19. Tires that look fine on the outside can be dry-rotted on the inside, never take a chance with old tires. We had three year old tires on our RV that experienced the treads peeling off. Good Year paid for new tires and for damage to our RV, but we still had the aggravation of being stranded on the Highway!


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