January 8, 2014
When you’re trolling ebay looking for good deals on antiques, don’t forget to peruse the vintage tires. Some enterprising soul doing business as TireNetUSA has put up for purchase nearly 1,000 odd-ball, and very old “new” tires. Check it out:
One (1) New 225/45R16 Hankook Ventus Plus Tire. Free Shipping. This tire is new, not a blem, and has never been mounted. Please check fitment before you bid, and e-mail with any questions. This tire is 1998 production.
Seventy-nine bucks and free shipping? Such a deal!
Our interest was piqued by an ad we saw in Tire Business. It proclaimed: “We’re not afraid of older discontinued product and will make fair offers to clear out all unwanted product.” Hmm, what would someone be doing with “older discontinued” product? One, two, three, Google and we had our answer. They are being re-sold on ebay.
And that Hankook Ventus Plus? It’s not even the oldest tire for sale. Mr. or Ms. TireNetUSA is offering 14 tires pre-1998, including six items from 1995 production. Yes! 19-year-old tires! There’s a pair of 8.00 – 16.5LT LRD 8 Ply Goodyear Workhorse Tires for the low, low price of $279. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, a bargain at twice the price!
To be fair, only about a tenth of TireNetUSA’s stock at this particular moment is 10 years old or older. Many of the new ties are actually new – 2013 production, and fairly new, 2012- 2010.
This is what happens, dear regulators, when you research and research tire age, continue to publish your research up to the present day, but never take one teeny weeny regulatory step off base. This is what happens, industry age deniers, when you fight tooth and nail for a status quo that has fewer and fewer adherents. And yay, tire manufacturers! Some of you have dutifully issued technical service bulletins recommending the removal and disposal of tires 10 years and older, but not one of you have done a credible job of educating consumers, tire technicians or retailers about these recommendations. All-around epic fail.
It’s all good, though. Each TireNetUSA ad comes with its very own disclaimer: “If this concerns you at all, please do not purchase this tire. Tires will not be taken back due to age.” So, you can’t return them. What happens when you use them and suffer a catastrophic tread separation?
Anyway, in the interests of commerce, we thought we’d class up TireNetUSA’s inventory wanted ad. You know, give it a literary uplift. Here goes, with apologies to Emma Lazarus:
“Give me your tired tires, your poor 11-year-old Pirellis,
Your huddled Hankooks from 1998 yearning to be mounted,
The wretched refuse of your Phoenix warehouse.
Send these, the ancient, tread-tost to me.”
Yes, we’ve re-written the ad. The lawsuits practically write themselves.