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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 14, 2005
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Only on 12
Could you be driving on expired tires, now some want the government to take action
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            Many of us may be driving to danger and may not even know it.

            Experts say tires that look brand new could actually be several years old and fall apart at any moment.

            We've all been told what a good tire looks like and feels like....but checking for deep tread,  rotating your tires...even replacing them doesn't guarantee they're safe for the road.


Bobby Crane...a teenage boy with big dreams that all came to a crashing end when the s-u-v he was riding in with his brother rolled over.


"Joey was at the wheel. He heard a loud band and the car began to swerve, and he struggled to gain control of it"

            A ccording to the police report the cause of the fatal crash: tread separation on one of the tires....a full size spare that was put on before the accident...a spare that ended up being 14 years old!!!


"This is clearly industry's dirty little secret"


            S ean Kane, a researcher in Rochester, says the industry knows about the dangers of old tires, but does little to warn consumers.

            He says even though a tire looks new, with age..rubber inside the tire begins to break down.


"So the glue that holds the belts together become less viable and becomes harder and will tear apart"

            E ven the N ational Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or nhtsa, admits the problem exists.


"We know tires age, both in use as well as sitting on the shelf."

            E ven in spare tires...kane says tires that are not used actually age faster...

            That's why he's asking nhtsa to call for a 6 year expiration date on all tires.

            However, rubber manufacturers who recommend similar guidelines internally say the information should not be released to the public.


"Barring any scientific data that says something to the contrary it would be irresponsible to set that date"

            B ut you can take control.

            There are 10 or 11 digits on the side of your tire that tells you its age.

            It's the d-o-t code..check out the last 3 or 4 digits.

            Even experts say the code is difficult to crack.

"over here is the dot number...1994"

           T he Crane family says the code could have saved their son's life.


"If I knew a tire could age to the point it was unsafe I would have never allowed my sons to take that trip"


So if your spare tire has not been used in some time...bring it to shop and have a mechanic read the dot code for you..if your tire is older than 6 years..experts say get rid of it.


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