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Are Retread Tires Safe?
Despite suspicion among some trucker that retread tires are an inferior product, manufacturers such as Goodyear insist that the product is as safe as new tires.
According to the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau, retreads do not come apart any more easily than new tires. Executive Director David Stevens suspects that lingering misconception has its roots all the way back to World War II when some post-war retreads were of subpar quality. “It’s always been a public perception problem,” Stevens acknowledges, noting that the industry needs to do a better job of informing and educating the public.
Research commissioned by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that the proportion of tire debris from retreads compared with new tires “is similar to the estimated proportion of retread and [new] tires in service. There was no evidence to suggest that the proportion of tire fragments/shreds from retread tires was overrepresented in the debris items collected.”
The reports adds that as far as highway safety goes, “The evaluation of available crash data shows that vehicle crashes related to truck-tire failure and truck-tire debris are very rare events that account for less than one percent” of traffic accidents.
Retreads have all but disappeared from the passenger vehicle market, but that is primarily because the price of new tires has come down to the point where there are no significant savings buying retreads.