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The hazards of used tires include blowouts, tread separation, rim failures, and other catastrophic events. Each of these hazards may cause fatalities and severe injuries to the occupants of moving vehicles, but used tires can also cause accidents in vehicles that aren't moving. For example, some used tires may explode when they're being changed at a service station. They're known in the auto repair industry as “widow-makers.”
Tire Mileage and Tire Age
The sale of used tires is not closely regulated in the U.S., and consumers who are trying to save money by buying used tires instead of new ones may want to reconsider their choice. With used tires, a buyer does not know how many miles the tires have traveled, and even if the tires have been renovated or retreaded, they're still not necessarily safe.
In addition, used tires may be too old to use safely. Many vehicle manufacturers consider six years as the safe life of a tire, and these manufacturers (including BMW, Toyota, and Ford) state as much in their owner's manuals. Used tires may be older than six years, and thus present a greater risk of dangerous tire failure.
Manufacturer Group Warns Against Used Tires
Even the Rubber Manufacturers Association (which represents the major tire manufacturers) does not recommend that consumers buy used tires for their vehicles in most instances. Their “Tire Safety” publication states:
“Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. Use the penny test to gauge tread wear: put a penny headfirst into the tread groove — if you can see the top of Lincoln's head, you should buy a new tire.”
Even new-looking tires may be hazardous used tires, and/or they may be too old to use safely.
The Hazards of Used Tires: Injury and Death
Millions of used tires are currently in use on the streets and freeways across the United States. The used tire industry is huge, accounting for more than $10 billion a year. Unfortunately, these tires could blowout or fail at any time, putting both the vehicles' occupants and others in the vicinity in danger of a collision, rollover, or pedestrian accident.
Contact Rich Newsome about Used Tire Injuries
Orlando attorney Rich Newsome, the author of Used Tires: Are They Worth the Risk? (FJA Journal, June 2007), has helped numerous individuals and families harmed in accidents caused by aging or used tires. Learn more about your legal rights today.
This site is sponsored by the Newsome Melton Law Firm.
The Newsome Melton Law Firm is located in Orlando, Florida and represents consumers who have been injured by defective products.