The following comments were posted on www.tirebusiness.com in response to TB online poll questions:
``Do your offshore tire suppliers have adequate liability insurance to cover you in case of a product lawsuit?''
``This is a very important issue in today's world of litigious consumers. First, we make sure that all of our products are rigorously tested to ensure they are safe for the application they are intended for. One would think this would be enough. But not in the tire business where you have many factors that can cause a tire to fail at no fault of the tire quality-for example misapplication, overload, improper inflation and many other factors.
``That is why we supply product liability on all of our products! This has now beome a huge expense ever since the Firestone tire recall, but a very important one.
``Most of our customers require that we have product liability insurance.
``If you are buying tires from an overseas supplier and they do not offer adequate insurance from an AAA-rated North American insurance company, it is like playing Russian Roulette-you never know when the gun will go off!
``We now know the potential liability risk is enormous. If something goes wrong and you are not covered, I wish you luck because you are going to need it!''
Jeff Kreitzman, CEO
CMA Inc., Valencia, Calif.
``What succession plan do you have in place for your tire dealership or company?''
``I had planned to sell out when the time came, but I have watched the last three independent tire businesses in my town simply shut down and liquidate, even after lengthy attempts to sell.
``It makes me wonder just exactly how much a good used tire store is worth.''
Steve Jackson, President
Gene Jackson Tire Co., Ashland, Ky.