* Perception: ``Tire recalls by manufacturers are becoming more frequent, and the number of units involved in them has increased over the years.''
* Truth: Despite the record-setting recalls in 2000 and 2001, individual instances, in which tires were recalled by their manufacturers, and the number of units involved in those recalls have declined steadily since the 1970s. Because of the abnormally high number of tires recalled in some years, annual industry totals have averaged 1.3 million units. But in only five of the past 35 years have tire manufacturers actually recalled more than 1 million units in a single year.
* Perception: ``Price is the No. 1 factor determining which tire the typical U.S. consumer will buy.''
* Truth: Not according to a Tire Business sampling of consumers conducted for this issue. Nearly one in two consumers taking part (45 percent) cited quality as their most important consideration. Nearly one in three (32 percent) of these motorists said service was the most significant factor in determining where they buy tires.