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Consumer News

Buyer Beware: Unsafe Used Tires For Sale

Posted: 10/18/2013

Some used tires are simply not road worthy
Some used tires are simply not road worthy.

(NAPSI)—Whenever you hit the road, it’s your car’s tires that hit it first, so it’s important they be in good shape.

The Problem

Unfortunately, bald, damaged, unsafe used tires are available for sale in every state. New tires must meet stringent federal safety standards to be sold in the U.S. In fact, U.S. tire testing standards are the toughest in the world. Worn-out tires that have been removed from service can be resold as “used,” however, with virtually no restrictions.

A Solution

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade organization for tire manufacturers, suggests there should be a law against that.

“We are working to educate policymakers and consumers about the dangers of unsafe used tires and will advocate state laws to prohibit the sale of used tires with conditions that pose a significant motorist safety risk,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Consumers may think used tires are a bargain, but saving a few dollars isn’t worth the risk if your choice includes a worn-out or damaged tire.”

To demonstrate the problem, RMA and its members purchased several examples of unsafe used tires from used-tire stores. Each tire exhibited one or more conditions that are clearly unsafe: worn-out, visible damage to the tread or other portions of a tire, or being improperly repaired.

What To Watch Out For

Tires worn to 2⁄32 of an inch are considered bald and are dangerous. Such tires no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions. Tires with damage exposing steel belts or other internal components threaten a tire’s structural integrity. Improperly repaired tires can suffer loss of inflation pressure or have hidden damage that may contribute to tire failure.

“Any used tire is a risky proposition since it’s impossible to know the service history of a tire used by someone else,” Zielinski advised.

Learn More

For further facts and tips on tire safety, visit


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