October 9, 2009
Just when we thought we’d stirred the pot but good, Jim Smith comes along to set us straight. In a scathing Tire Review editorial, editor Smith takes aim at industry leader, the Rubber Manufacturers Association for leading the retail side of the industry off a cliff on two important issues: tire fuel efficiency and tire age.
In the former case, the RMA helped craft a tire fuel efficiency testing and grading and a consumer education provision in the Energy Bill of 2007. Smith was underwhelmed by the RMA’s role in a measure he called unnecessary and unfounded on any science.
Then Smith shakes Sean Kane in the association’s face on tire age, but even Kane “pounding the industry about old tires going bad,” barely rouses it. Despite, “countless lawsuits…alleging that older tires – six years or more in chronological age – failed and maimed or killed people; despite “Kane-led” attacks, bad press, proposed state laws, the RMA has only managed to burp out one squishy statement questioning the science behind tire age. Retailers are left to control the damage over the store counter.
Well, Mr. Smith, SRS knows a challenge when we hear one.