The following comments were posted on www.tirebusiness.com in response to recent stories in Tire Business and the TB online poll question:
``What do you think about Ford Motor Co.'s statement in its upcoming owners' manuals suggesting motorists replace their tires after six years?''
``We see so many weather-checked tires on vehicles that should have been replaced much sooner.
``We had a customer in a Dodge van with 8-year-old tires on it have a tread flip off at 70 mph on the freeway. His wife was killed in the accident that happened. Everyone got sued.
``Yes, we believe tires should be replaced at a maximum six years and some at five years. In California, we should have mandatory yearly vehicle inspections. That would definitely help eliminate many accidents due to faulty equipment.''
Phil Kelley, President
California General Tire, Sacramento, Calif.
``What a farce! Here is a company that does not warrant tires, does not follow manufacturers' inflation suggestions, cannot compete with Toyota/Lexus, is having difficulty staying solvent and they are going to make the U.S. even less competitive by being wasteful with our raw materials and energy?
``Tires are arguably the finest technological component of the auto industry. We do not need another `law' dictating what should be `common sense.'
``Both the tire dealer and the motorist can and should decide when a tire is unsafe, NOT Ford Motor Co. in their divine wisdom!''
J.A. DePaolis, President
Consultative Services, Rochester, N.Y.
``This is just another typical silly idea by someone who is just looking for dollars and no common sense.
``There are way too many people who don't wear out tires in six years. Most retired folks just don't drive enough to warrant taking off good tires because of someone's preconceived idea that it MIGHT be dangerous.
``I believe it's a good idea to have your tires checked just like a person does maintenance on an automobile. But only have them checked by a seasoned tire dealer, not a quick oil change artist.''
Chuck Litterell, President
Vernon & Sons Tire Co. Inc., Borger, Texas
``It is a common recommendation to replace engine belts every three years in passenger vehicles.
``Tires see as much if not more heat and abuse as belts, and both are rubber products. Also, most Technology & Maintenance Council-recommended practices for tires do not recommend recapping tires older than 5 or so years old depending on condition.''
Claudio Garcia, Corporate Maintenance Trainer
Maverick Transportation, Little Rock, Ark.
``It is common in the industry that the material and workmanship warranty ends at six years.
``I have seen tires 10 years old still in use, and they appear safe. I have also seen tires that are defective when mounted new. There is no set time when a tire can go bad.''
David McGinnis, Assistant manager
Tire Centers L.L.C., Kansas City, Kan.