Aging Tires at the Center of Controversy

Aging Tires at the Center of Controversy

Can aging tires be unsafe for your car?

Safety advocates are arguing that old rubber increases the risk of dangerous tire failures. However, the tire industry is fighting legislation to get aged tires off the road. So far, American tire companies have helped defeat proposed laws in eight states that would require inspection of tires for age, stating that “It’s more important how a tire is used, whether it’s maintained and how it’s stored.”

In a recent case the Rubber Manufacturers Association spent $36,000 on lobbyists to defeat proposed legislation in Massachusetts that would have required checking the age of tires during regular vehicle inspections.

But some tire companies, such as Michelin, are warning consumers that aging tires pose a problem, recommending that motorists replace tires that are more than a decade old.

Currently, investigators are focused on a recent accident in Louisiana that featured a 10-year-old tire on an SUV that lost its tread, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a bus carrying a high school baseball team. The crash killed four of the five people in the SUV.