Tire Dealers Freak Out Over Consumer Education Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Tire retailers are in the midst of an oh-my-gosh-the-sky-is-falling meltdown over a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tire maintenance public education program. Specifically, the retail arm of the tire industry is quivering over the possibility that groups outside of the industry would be tapped to run it.

Safety Research & Strategies Raises Tire Age Profile in California; Tire Aging Consumer Disclosure Bill Clears Committee

SACRAMENTO, CA - One of the nation's first laws to require tire dealers to disclose the age of each tire prior to sale or installation cleared an important hurdle Tuesday, when the California state legislature's Assembly Business and Professions committee passed it by a vote of 6 to 4.

Following the Twisted Trail of Chinese Imports

A 42-year-old Missouri man purchased a go-cart from the local farm supply store for his kids. With less than four hours on the rugged-looking machine, he and a friend were found dead, the machine overturned with a fractured front suspension where a critical weld failed. The defect appears to be just another one of a myriad of continuing quality problems that have plagued the go-cart and other motorized products distributed by SunL, the Irving, Texas importer.

NHTSA Grants SRS Request: Opens Investigation into Ford OEM Valve Stems

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V5, I5

Washington, D.C. - Less than two weeks after Safety Research & Strategies requested the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a defect investigation into Chinese tire valve stems used as OEM equipment in some Ford vehicles, the Office of Defects Investigation has complied.

On September 25, SRS President Sean Kane sent a letter to Daniel Smith, NHTSA's Associate Administrator for Enforcement, asking him to widen the current probe on prematurely cracking rubber snap-in valve stems manufactured by Shanghai Baolong / Topseal Automotive to include Ford vehicles which also used the Topseal stems. On October 14, ODI opened a Preliminary Evaluation (PE08-060) into more than a million Topseal stems on Ford vehicles, citing the possibility that they may crack due to poor ozone resistance, leading to tire damage and a possible loss-of-control crash.

Ohio Importer Recalls Six Million Chinese Tire Stem Valves As NHTSA Opens Probe into 30 Million More

OXFORD, NORTH CAROLINA -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Chinese-made replacement tire valve stems sold by Dill Air Controls for potential defects, while an Ohio importer of the product recalls six million valve stems made by the same company, because of cracks that can occur in as little as six months.

Dill has acknowledged that 30 million of the suspect and hard-to track replacement valves may be on shelves of tire retailers and distributors and on vehicles. And the scope of the problem is likely to expand - more recent evidence has emerged that appears to show that defective valve stems were also used as original equipment on some 2007 model year vehicles.

After Long Delay, NHTSA Issues Advisory Addressing Tire Aging

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eight years after the Explorer/Firestone rollovers pushed the problems of tire aging to the fore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued its first consumer advisory that addressed the dangers of aged tires.

On June 2, NHTSA released the advisory as a kick-off the summer driving season. The all-purpose warning for motorists to check their tires - including the spare - for signs of wear, under-inflation and age, was an important public acknowledgement of a safety hazard the agency has long understood. While NHTSA's Consumer Advisory did not define any tire age limit, it did refer to vehicle and tire makers age recommendations.

Tire Recalls and Tire Safety: The RFID Solution

The current tire recall system designed to alert and capture defective models is ineffective and outmoded. Despite many technological advances, consumers trying to identify a defective tire still rely on a 38-year-old recall system that rarely averages more than a 20 percent return rate, leaving millions of potentially deadly tires on consumers' vehicles.

Other important tire safety issues ranging from aging to counterfeiting can benefit from an improved identification system. Radio Frequency Identification tags offers a solution.

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