AKRON (June 27, 2014) — The growing number of higher speed-rated tires in the U.S. has made the idea of tire repair a somewhat scary proposition for tire dealers.
With the publicity surrounding a $22.8 million jury verdict in 2011 against a Ford dealership in California for a tire repair failure connected to a fatal vehicle accident, the message of proper tire repair has been gaining traction, according to Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training for the Tire Industry Association.
While that may be the case, other dealers are simply trying to avoid repairs as much as possible.
“People shy away (from repairing) nowadays — they really, really do,” said Mike Hamad, manager for Hamad Tire Inc. in Akron, whose business still repairs tires on a regular basis. “I think there're good reasons for it and bad reasons.”
Mr. Hamad said dealers in general are more nervous about repairing high-performance tires because “people are driving faster and the chance of that repair failing goes up substantially, which makes owners and managers nervous. That's the last thing they need is a liability.”
In addition, he said, the younger generations are being trained to not repair anything, “if just for the sake of making a sale.” This is OK in some circumstances, he added, but there's always the potential for backlash.