TIA opposes New York 'born-on' bill

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) says the New York Legislature's bill that would require a "non-coded" date of manufacture on tire sidewalls "would place tire dealers, wholesalers and manufacturers at an unfair disadvantage."

Such legislation "would have no value to the motoring public."

TIA cited the following as reasons why it opposes the bill:

1. "The date of a tire’s manufacture is already on the sidewall, found as part of the Tire Identification Number. A customer simply needs to ask a tire professional and can be shown that information on both the tire itself and their invoice. It is also included in most manufacturers’ consumer information materials;

2. "It would be too costly for tire manufacturers to retool their molds to add a 'born on' date to the sidewall when that information is already there. Moreover, manufacturers have just retooled their molds due to the new tire labeling regulations the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued in 2002. Tire manufacturers should not be expected to go through this costly procedure again for redundant sidewall information.

3. "There is no scientific data to suggest a hard date of when tires are 'too old' to be used. Tires will deteriorate over time, but the rate of deterioration depends on how and where that tire is used and stored, how it is constructed, and how the tire is maintained by the consumer.

"Tire retailers are being put in the situation where if they have to explain the date of manufacture code to a customer, they cannot rely on any scientific foundation to indicate that older tires are any less safe than newer tires for the desired application. Therefore, retailers will be forced to make it up as they go along, which could lead to liability issues. This is an unfair burden to tire retailers.

4. "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. 'Born on' dates could thus lead to unnecessary tire scrappage because of both remaining inventory and consumers buying tires sooner than needed.

5. "Yearly state safety inspections remove any need for manufacturers to add a 'born on' date to the sidewall of a tire. Inspectors can be taught to look for signs of deterioration and to check the date code."

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