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SEMA, DAY ONE: TIA addresses tire aging, other issues

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Tire Industry Association (TIA) officials addressed tire aging, tire rolling resistance legislation and lead wheel weights earlier today during its annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., part of this week's SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show.

* Tire aging. TIA pledged to "continue to fight against efforts to add 'born on' or expiration dates to the sidewall of a tire at the state and national level.

"Adding 'born on' dates to the sidewall of tires could cause major inventory problems for independent tire dealers as consumers could request newer tires, leaving older ones to age further in a warehouse."

In addition, TIA believes that while consumers "should be aware of how old their tires are, (they) have much greater safety concerns to worry about than aging such as proper inflation levels, safe tread depth and overloading of tires (and) vehicles."

* Rolling resistance legislation. TIA officials have promised to work with the Rubber Manufacturers Association and SEMA "to defeat 'tire fuel efficiency' bills based on rolling resistance studies until such studies are actually completed.

"Proposals to mandate replacing tires with tires 'as fuel efficient or better' would impose substantial costs on tire manufacturers to redesign all replacement tires for improved rolling resistance, then redesign tire treads and compounds to overcome safety and performance inadequacies associated with redesigning tires solely for upgrading rolling resistance."

* Lead wheel weights. TIA will work with the Environmental Protection Agency "to continue educational efforts of the tire industry as to the proper methods of safely recycling lead wheel weights."

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