Tire Aging Tests, Data and Policies Continue to Emerge

Presentations on tire aging at recent industry conferences indicate that the industry is beginning to accept what only several years ago it claimed was not possible-a scientific basis for tire expiration dates. Foundational to this acceptance is agreement from the tire makers, NHTSA, and Ford Motor Company that static oven aging in a lab can mimic thermo-oxidative aging found in tires removed from the field-an important step toward a regulatory performance standard. Other presentations have addressed specific tire components and properties that affect tire aging degradation. The unspoken message has been loud and clear: tire age matters and regulation appears inevitable.

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Automakers Agree to Add Brake to Shift Interlocks

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to fend off legislation, 19 of the largest automakers have voluntarily entered into an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to install brake-to-shift interlock (BTSI) systems. BTSI's require drivers to depress the brake pedal before shifting an automatic transmission out of Park. The feature gained many adherents in the late 1980s following a rise in sudden unintended acceleration events in late 1980s as a way to reduce driver error. The feature also helps to reduce incidents of inadvertent activation of the shift lever by children-a long-standing problem that can result in vehicle roll-away incidents and crashes.

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