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Bridgestone clarifies S. Africa unit’s retreaded tire info

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 24, 2014) — Reacting to a technical statement from a sister division in South Africa that warned about retreaded passenger tires, Bridgestone Americas has clarified its position regarding the use of retreads.

According to the e-newsletter of the Retread Tire Association (RTA), Bridgestone Americas said “many of the comments” in a release by Bridgestone South Africa “are not consistent with Bridgestone’s official position on retread tires, and should not have been released without proper review.

“Our South African group is currently reviewing their procedures for releasing technical information of this nature to ensure this type of incident does not happen again.”

Pacific Grove, Calif.-based RTA said Bridgestone’s statement continued: “Just as with new tires, when maintained and used properly retread tires are safe and cost effective. Although the use of retread tires on passenger vehicles has declined in recent years in many parts for the world for economic reasons, retread tires are used extensively and safely on many fleet vehicles, such as delivery trucks and taxis.

“Most of the nation’s largest fleets rely on retreading for superior fuel economy, long tread life and low cost per mile. Retreads also offer a significant contribution to reducing our carbon footprint through a reduction in raw materials and the effective recycling of certain natural resources.”

The original press release from Bridgestone South Africa had advised motorists to “steer clear” of passenger retreads. The statement on the company’s website has since been taken down, with the following statement posted in its place:

“The document was incorrectly released without the correct review process being followed. We are currently reviewing the procedures for releasing technical information of this nature to ensure this type of incident does not occur again. We apologize for any confusion created.” — Bridgestone South Africa Management

Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas added that another point made in the release from its South Africa division “had to do with the use of retread tires in the steer position on commercial vehicles. Retreaded tires are used safely and successfully in the steer position in many fleets, and have proven capable of performing to the same level as new tires.

“Bridgestone remains a strong supporter of the retread industry on a global level, and we regret any confusion the recent media statement (from Bridgestone South Africa) may have caused.”

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