The shallow grooves on the half-tread tire (right) indicate the lost grip compared with its relatively new identical twin. Even with half the tread intact, significant traction is lost.
JACKSONVILLE,Fla. -- Earlier this year, James Jones purchased new tires for his station wagon.
He went to repair shop GT Auto Tech, which bought them from Classic Tires.
But the so-called new tire is not as new as he thought.
"The whole face came off," said Jones.
Last weekend, on his way home from church, Jones' new tire failed.
"The complete tread came off; I was on the Matthews Bridge and I swerved left and the other lane," said Jones, "I almost went off the bridge into the water."
The retailer claimed the tread came off because the tire was over inflated.
However when you check the DOT number on the tire, you can see it was manufactured in 1994.
A spokesperson at Continental Tire said the plant that produced that tire closed in 2006 and they're surprised to find the tire is still in circulation and being sold as new.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association does not recommend buying used tires because there is an inherent risk. You don't know the history or where it was stored.
But what about new tires?
You should always look at the DOT number on a tire to find out its chronological age.
The Letters DOT are followed by a least ten characters, ending in four numbers. The last four numbers tell the age. If the numbers are "4912," "49" stands for the week it was manufactured and "12" stands for the year it was made.
The industry recommends that tires be replaced every ten year. Regardless, consumer advocates recommend not buying a tire if its chronological age is greater than six years.
First Coast News