There was a shocking and sobering story on the ABC’s 20-20 program several weeks ago. Tires sold throughout this country in stores such as Sears, Wal-Mart, and Goodyear have expiration dates, and become dangerous after 6 years regardless of whether they have ever been placed on a vehicle and put in use. Despite this fact, and the tire manufacturers and retailers’ knowledge that unused tires are dangerous after several years, they are routinely sold as new to unsuspecting consumers, often with tragic results.
The headline story was that of 19 year old Andy Moore, who was driving his family’s van on a graduation trip to Canada with a friend. Although the tires on the van had been purchased 4 years earlier and appeared to be in good shape, they were in fact 9 years old, and very dangerous. The accident was caused when the tread on one of the tires literally peeled off, Andy lost control of the vehicle, and Andy and his friend were killed in the accident. Apparently, as in numerous cases across the country, the tires on the Miller van had been sitting on the retailer’s shelves for years, looking new, but drying up and becoming increasingly dangerous.
The 20-20 story was very informative in showing consumers how to tell the expiration date on these dangerous tires. At the very end of the series of numbers along the side of the tires, are numbers such as “414” or “4202”, for example. The first number, “414”, means that the tire was manufactured in the 41st week of 1994! The second number, “4202”, signifies that the tire was made in the 42nd week of 2002. One commentator noted that the tires are “like ticking time bombs on people’s cars”, and in England, unlike the United States, dealers are now warned to stop selling any tires that are six years old or older. 20-20 found 12 year old tires being sold as new in a New Jersey Sears, a 7 year old tire sold as new in an Indianapolis Wal-Mart, and 9 year old tires sold in a San Francisco Goodyear store. In one instance, the salesperson acknowledged that the tires were old to the 20-20 narrator, and suggested that the tire should be used as a spare tire only!
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a defective or dangerous product, contact the White Plains New York Law Office of Mark A. Siesel online or at 914-761-7633 for a free consultation with an experienced and aggressive lawyer who will seek the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering and lost earnings.