Sometimes it takes a tragedy to save others from the same fate.
Last year a terrible car crash in Florida killed two church leaders and injured eight others. An investigation found the accident was caused by defective tires—tires that had been recalled.
That’s right, tires are recalled just as other defective goods are.
The only problem is, how many of us know about that? We hear about car recalls all the time. Even recalls of portable heaters and coffee pots are reported in the news.
And because of that fatal accident in Florida, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation. And the report released in November was a real shocker.
4 out of 5 recalled tires are STILL in service
What NTSB investigators discovered was that four out of five recalled tires were still in service due to the fact that the people driving around on them were completely unaware of the recalls.
And that’s because of another tire tidbit we’ve never been told about. Your tires need to be registered. That’s the only way you’ll be notified in the event of a recall.
Every manufacturer, be it Goodyear, Michelin or Firestone has an online tire registration page. Just Google your brand along with some keywords, such as tires and registration, and you should easily be able to find the right page.
Are the tires you’re driving on EXPIRED?
But we’re still not totally safe where our tires are concerned, because there’s something else about tires that was kept a secret. Tires expire.
That’s right, just like food — only when tires expire they can be dangerous to drive on. And that’s true even if the tread looks fine and you purchased them only a few years ago.
So how do you find out how old your tires really are?
By checking for a group of numbers on the inner ring that begin with DOT. It’s the last four digits that you’re looking for — the first two will be the week, and the last two the year of its manufacturer. (For example, 4712 would mean it was made in the 47th week of 2012.)
Now, a tire that’s unused won’t age as fast as one that’s said to be “in service” (which, by the way, includes your spare), But rubber deteriorates — even if just sitting in storage. And if you live in a hot, dry part of the country, your tires will deteriorate much faster.
That’s why manufacturers generally recommend that auto tires be discarded six years after they were manufactured, not put into use. And that’s regardless of their condition (although some like Michelin and Continental say they can last for 10 years, but should be inspected every year after the fifth).
Someone you love may be driving around on recalled or expired tires. Spread the word.
Please share this critical information with your family and friends to help keep them safe.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
Visit www.hsionline.com to sign up for the free HSI e-Alert.
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