Please, Sir, May I Have Another? - Tire Review Magazine

Please, Sir, May I Have Another?

Sell used tires? Work at RMA or TIA? You may want to read this.

It’s a news script from a recent WJLA-TV (Arlington, Va.) broadcast, which went all caped crusader on the issue.

The capitalized sections are the reporter’s voice over; lower case sections are interviewees:

LOOKING FOR WAYS TO SAVE MONEY? BE CAREFUL. WHAT LOOKS LIKE A BARGAIN COULD PUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AT RISK. 7 ON YOUR SIDE’S ROSS MCLAUGHLIN HAS THIS WARNING. ROSS:

YOU CAN SAVE HUNDRED OF DOLLARS ON TIRES IF YOU BUY USED, SOME MAY EVEN LOOK NEW BUT WE’VE DISCOVERED THEY COULD POSE A SERIOUS RISK ON THE ROAD AND NO ONE IS WATCHING OUT FOR YOU.

STORY:

Ross: "$9.99. That’s cheap"

WE’RE ON A MISSION TO FIND CHEAP USED TIRES. YOU SEE THE ADS EVERYWHERE. AND THEY’RE EASY TO FIND.

Ross: "Here we are."

BUT THERE’S A PROBLEM.

Ross: "We want to ask you why you sell tires with…

Tommy Song/Amy’s Beltsville Auto: "I don’t want it."

Ross: "With patches on them?"

Tommy Song: "I don’t want it, OK?"

HE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT..BUT..

Ross "This is the truck?"

WILLIE TITUS DOES.

Willie Titus/Used Tire Customer: "They looked like they were good tires."

SURE DO BUT TAKE CLOSER LOOK. YUP. PATCHES.

Willie Titus: "They had patched it from the inside and outside."

AND HOW DID HE KNOW THAT?

Willie Titus/Used Tire Customer: "While I was driving all of a sudden we heard this great gush of air and, uh, looked over there and the tire had blew."

PUTTING HIS FAMILY AT RISK. HE BOUGHT THE TIRES FROM THIS MAN TOMMY SONG IN BELTSVILLE. HE WON’T TALK ON CAMERA, BUT HE TELLS US WILLIE GOT A GREAT DEAL. BUT WHAT GOOD IS 110 DOLLARS FOR TWO TIRES THAT AREN’T SAFE? AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

EVERY YEAR 30 MILLION USED TIRES ARE SOLD IN THE U.S. THERE ARE NO SAFETY STANDARDS.

SOME ARE EVEN PAINTED TO LOOK NEW, AND RARELY GET A GOOD INSPECTION.

CAR MANUFACTURERS ADVISED AGAINST DRIVING ON TIRES OLDER THAN 6 YEARS. TO FIND THE DATE LOOK ALONG THE SIDEWALL. 4903 MEANS MADE IN THE 49TH WEEK OF 2003. THIS USED TIRE IS AT THE END OF ITS LIFE.

TOMMY SONG GAVE WILLIE HIS MONEY BACK AND ADMITS HE MADE A MISTAKE. BUT EVERY TIME WILLIE INSPECTS HIS TIRES HE KNOWS THAT…

Willie Titus/Used Tire Customer: "Sorry is not good enough."

ROSS: WILLIE WANTS STANDARDS. THE RUBBER MANUFACTUER’S ASSOCIATION HAS ISSUED A WARNING ABOUT BUYING USED TIRES AND FIRESTONE HAS GONE FURTHER. LAST YEAR IT STOPPED SELLING USED TIRES.

AS FOR THE TIRE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, WHICH REPRESENTS USED TIRE SELLERS, THERE’S NO COMMITMENT TO BETTER INSPECTION.

If you have comments to share, send to me at [email protected].

– Jim Smith

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