You Should Put New Tires on Your Car Every Once in a While


This is hardly the most important topic in the world, but this story from ABC News sure left me scratching my head:

American tire companies have helped to defeat proposed laws in eight states that would require inspection of tires for age….”We oppose legislation that have some sort of age limit on tires,” said Dan Zielinski, executive director of the [Rubber Manufacturers of America].

In the most recent case, the trade group spent $36,000 on lobbyists to defeat proposed legislation in the state of Massachusetts that would have included the age of tires on regular vehicle inspections, according to ABC News’ Boston affiliate WCVB, which joined other top ABC News affiliate investigative teams around the country in a national hidden camera investigation into tire safety.

….For consumers, determining the age of a tire can be a daunting task. The date of production can be found in a unique code at the end of 11- or 12-digit identification number on the tire’s sidewall. But instead of the standard month/year display, the tire industry uses a week/year display. For example, a tire produced in early June of 2010 (in the 21st week of the year) would be displayed as 2110, instead of the more common 06/10 that most consumers are accustomed to seeing.

“They did not want to put a date code on tires, specifically because they did not want to give the impression that tires might actually have a service life,” said Kane, the safety consultant.

OK, but why do tire manufacturers oppose the idea that tires have a service life? Wouldn’t a recognized service life lead to more tire sales? I can think of dozens of industries that have successfully run ad campaigns urging consumers to replace items more often than they’re accustomed to, with the goal of selling more stuff. So what’s the difference here?

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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