View Poll Results: Note: This poll must be completed in one session.
Has a tire failed on your Airstream in the past 5 years – Yes. 144 50.17%
Has a tire failed on your Airstream in the past 5 years – No. 145 50.52%
Reason for tire failure: Valve stem leak/failure. 6 2.09%
Reason for tire failure: Bubble in sidewall. 17 5.92%
Reason for tire failure: Bubble in tread area. 9 3.14%
Reason for tire failure: Belt/tread slipped, but still relatively intact. 16 5.57%
Reason for tire failure: Tread separated, but still partially attached to tire body. 28 9.76%
Reason for tire failure: Tread completely separated, but tire body still inflated. 12 4.18%
Reason for tire failure: Blowout, sidewall. 16 5.57%
Reason for tire failure: Blowout, with tread separation. 57 19.86%
Reason for tire failure: Other reason(s), not stated above. 18 6.27%
Ambient/outdoor temperature when tire failure occurred or was noticed: Subfreezing to freezing temperatures. Note: Please, select only one “ambient/outdoor temperature”. 1 0.35%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: Freezing to 70-degrees Fahrenheit. 24 8.36%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 70 to 90-degrees Fahrenheit. 80 27.87%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 90 to 110-degrees Fahrenheit. 37 12.89%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 110+ degrees Fahrenheit. 1 0.35%
The tire failed: Before driving. Note: Please, select only one “tire failure time”. 10 3.48%
The tire failed: While driving. 111 38.68%
The tire failed: After driving. 18 6.27%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of axles” response. 45 15.68%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 2. 157 54.70%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 3. 11 3.83%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #1 (front or single axle), left side. Note: Please, select all “failed tire positions” that apply. 48 16.72%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #1 (front or single axle), right side. 64 22.30%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #2, left side. 31 10.80%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #2, right side. 39 13.59%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #3, left side. 4 1.39%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #3, right side. 5 1.74%
Did a road hazard, hitch failure or vehicle accident cause or contribute to the tire failure: Yes. 10 3.48%
Did a road hazard, hitch failure or vehicle accident cause or contribute to the tire failure: No. 113 39.37%
Did the tire failure cause or contribute to a vehicle accident: Yes. 0 0%
Did the tire failure cause or contribute to a vehicle accident: No. 131 45.64%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of tires that failed during original incident” response. 119 41.46%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 2. 15 5.23%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 3. 5 1.74%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 4 or more. 3 1.05%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles of the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of additional tires, within 30 days or 1,000 miles” response. 20 6.97%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 2. 4 1.39%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 3. 1 0.35%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 4 or more. 0 0%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles of the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of additional tires, within 12 months or 12,000 miles” response. 11 3.83%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 2. 3 1.05%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 3. 4 1.39%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 4 or more. 2 0.70%
Type of tire that failed: ST. Note: Please, select only one “type of tire that failed” response. 112 39.02%
Type of tire that failed: LT. 4 1.39%
Type of tire that failed: Other/unknown. 8 2.79%
Tire size of failed tire: 215/75. Note: Please, select only one “tire size”. 13 4.53%
Tire size: 225/75. 109 37.98%
Tire size: 235/75. 16 5.57%
Tire size: Other. 4 1.39%
Wheel size of failed tire: 14 inch. Note: Please, select only one “wheel size”. 16 5.57%
Wheel size: 15 inch. 136 47.39%
Wheel size: 16 inch. 8 2.79%
Wheel size: Other. 0 0%
Load range of tire that failed: C. Note: Please, select only one “load range”. 15 5.23%
Load range: D. 90 31.36%
Load range: E. 32 11.15%
Load range: Other. 3 1.05%
Normal tire pressure for tire that failed: 36 psi or less. Note: Please, select only one “normal tire pressure” response. 0 0%
Normal tire pressure: 36-44 psi. 4 1.39%
Normal tire pressure: 50 psi. 26 9.06%
Normal tire pressure: 55-60 psi. 25 8.71%
Normal tire pressure: 65 psi. 87 30.31%
Normal tire pressure: 72 psi. 5 1.74%
Normal tire pressure: 80 psi. 15 5.23%
Normal tire pressure: 80+ psi. 0 0%
Tire was inflated to “normal tire pressure” above, at time of failure. 111 38.68%
Tire was inflated to a lower pressure. 6 2.09%
Tire was inflated to a higher pressure. 1 0.35%
Tire pressure was unknown at time of failure. 5 1.74%
Manufacturer of failed tire: BG Goodrich. Note: Please, select only one “manufacturer of failed tire” response. 6 2.09%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Carlisle. 21 7.32%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Goodyear Marathon. 100 34.84%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Goodyear (other than Marathon). 0 0%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Greenball. 2 0.70%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Maxxis. 4 1.39%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Michelin. 2 0.70%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Towmax. 8 2.79%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Other. 13 4.53%
Manufacturing country of failed tire: Canada. Note: Please, select only one “manufacturing country” response. 11 3.83%
Manufacturing country: China. 50 17.42%
Manufacturing country: Europe. 0 0%
Manufacturing country: Mexico. 1 0.35%
Manufacturing country: Other Far Eastern Countries (e.g., Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, etc.). 3 1.05%
Manufacturing country: USA. 14 4.88%
Manufacturing country: Other/unknown. 51 17.77%
Tire age at failure: Less than 1 year. Note: Please, select only one “tire age” response. 9 3.14%
Tire age: 1-2 years. 29 10.10%
Tire age: 2-3 years. 39 13.59%
Tire age: 3-4 years. 42 14.63%
Tire age: 4-5 years. 13 4.53%
Tire age: 5-6 years. 8 2.79%
Tire age: 6-7 years. 10 3.48%
Tire age: More than 7 years. 7 2.44%
Tire age: Unknown. 1 0.35%
Tire mileage at failure: Less than 1,000 miles. Note: Please, select only one “tire mileage” response. 2 0.70%
Tire mileage: 1,000-5,000 miles. 38 13.24%
Tire mileage: 5,000-10,000 miles. 56 19.51%
Tire mileage: 10,000-15,000 miles. 22 7.67%
Tire mileage: 15,000-20,000 miles. 2 0.70%
Tire mileage: More than 20,000 miles. 13 4.53%
Tire mileage: Unknown. 20 6.97%
Was the failed tire balanced by the tire installer: Yes. 102 35.54%
Was the failed tire balanced by the tire installer: No (or unknown). 29 10.10%
Did the tire that failed use a dynamic balancing device (Centramatic or similar): Yes. 25 8.71%
Did the tire that failed use a dynamic balancing device: No. 80 27.87%
Parking surface for failed tire during extended storage (longer than 30 days): Concrete. Note: Please, select only one “parking surface” response. 42 14.63%
Parking surface: Asphalt. 24 8.36%
Parking surface: Gravel or dirt. 57 19.86%
Parking surface: Wood. 8 2.79%
Parking surface: Synthetic material (rubber, plastic, etc.). 1 0.35%
Parking surface: Other. 9 3.14%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc. due to tire failure: $0 Note: Please, include costs reimbursed by insurance. However, do not include tires, wheels, etc. Also, please select only one “cost of roadside assistance...” response. 79 27.53%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: Up to $100. 19 6.62%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $100 - $500. 16 5.57%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $500 - $1,000. 1 0.35%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $1,000 - $5000. 2 0.70%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: More than $5,000. 0 0%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, ext warranty, mount/balance, etc. due to tire failure: $0 Note: Please include cost reimbursed by insurance. Also, please select only one “cost of replacement tire, wheel, etc.” response. 13 4.53%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: Up to $250. 86 29.97%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $250 - $500. 16 5.57%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $500 - $1,000. 8 2.79%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $1,000 - $2,000. 3 1.05%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $2,000-$3,000. 1 0.35%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: More than $3,000. 1 0.35%
Additional damage to your Airstream, if any: None. 81 28.22%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Minor cosmetic damage, not repaired. 20 6.97%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Functional damage to other tires, wheels, suspension parts, etc., repaired/replaced. 8 2.79%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Functional damage affecting safety, including brake lines/parts, electrical wiring, propane lines, etc., repaired/replaced. 5 1.74%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Major damage to exterior or interior of Airstream, including body panels, rock guards, hot water heater, refrigerator, etc. 19 6.62%
Additional damage: Damage to tow or other vehicles. 0 0%
Additional damage: Personal injury, property or other damage not usually associated with tire failure. 0 0%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $0 (no damage). Note: Please, select only one “cost of additional damage to Airstream” response. 61 21.25%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: Up to $100 (estimate, if not repaired). 8 2.79%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $100 - $500 (estimate, if not repaired). 9 3.14%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $500 - $1,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 7 2.44%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $1,000 - $5000 (estimate, if not repaired). 13 4.53%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $5000 - $10,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 2 0.70%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: More than $10,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 1 0.35%
Cost of personal injury, property, tow vehicle or other damage associated with tire failure: $0 (no other damage). Note: Please, select only one “cost of other damage” response. 68 23.69%
Cost of other damage: Up to $100. 2 0.70%
Cost of other damage: $100 - $500. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $500 - $1,000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $1,000 - $5000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $5000 - $10,000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: More than $10,000. 0 0%
Did your tow vehicle also experience TIRE damage in conjunction with the tire failure on your Airstream: Yes. 1 0.35%
Did your tow vehicle also experience TIRE damage in conjunction with the tire failure on your Airstream: No. 130 45.30%
My Airstream is towed on: Interstate and multilane highways. 178 62.02%
My Airstream is towed on: State and other improved two-lane highways, with shoulders. 161 56.10%
My Airstream is towed on: Mostly paved and well-maintained lesser-used "backroads". 88 30.66%
My Airstream is towed on: Poorly/minimally maintained backroads and offroad. 27 9.41%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 287. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-07-2015, 10:35 AM   #113
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To me the bottom line is this; if ST tires are so good and if they are made especially for trailers including Airstreams, then there would be a very low number of failures. Same thing holds true for the large number of converts to LT's; if there were an abnormal number of failures, everyone would know about it. But LT's seem to be doing a good job with no problems. I had 3 tread separations on my ST's before I switched to Michelin LT's. Tire engineers can say what they want about statistics but when you are talking to an individual that has had mucho problems with ST's and switches to LT's with no problems, it's very hard to quote engineering statistics and get nods from the LT'ers. Starting from scratch, if I bought a new AS and it had ST's, knowing the problems that "might" occur, why would I take that chance?
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Old 03-07-2015, 12:32 PM   #114
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I think there are a couple of reasons Marathons don't last very long for some people. Most RV'ers don't drive very far and so don't put many miles on the OEM tires. The tires are likely to have lots of tread by the time they are too old to use—and maybe more likely to fail at that time, though the poll doesn't necessarily show that.

The second reason is that vehicle manufacturers will buy a cheap version of the tire to save money when they build the vehicle—car, truck or trailer. Those tires don't last long. I don't know if the Marathons supplied with Airstreams are cheap version of the one you would buy in the aftermarket, but it could be possible.

A Michelin LTX LR E tire has substantially more tread thickness (more than 50% if my memory is working) than a Marathon. Since it is an all around better tire, it seems to last 100% longer.

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Old 03-07-2015, 04:01 PM   #115
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Quote from CapriRacer's post:

"... there were 2 changes made: LT tires and a larger load carrying capacity. Clearly a larger load carrying capacity would reduce tire durability failures...

"But what I really want to point out is the statistics:

"If the probability of a single tire failure is 1%, then the probability of a single failure in that population of 6 is 6% - and the probability of 2 failures is 0.36% (6% X 6%), - and the probability of 3 failures is 0.0216%. Now that sounds like a pretty small number (and it is), but in a population of 10,000 vehicles (how many travel trailers are there in the US?), the statistics say there will be 2 where that has occurred.

"- AND -

"If there were no changes at all - that the probability of not getting another failure is 94%."

==========

My comments regarding above statements, appear in BLUE TEXT:
  • "there were 2 changes made: LT tires and a larger load carrying capacity. Clearly a larger load carrying capacity would reduce tire durability failures."

    This statement is true in comparing LR-D GYMs to LR-E Michelin LTX MS/2s and XPS Ribs. However, the tables below show the difference in load carrying capacity to be only 140 pounds per tire, which is a 5.2% increase in capacity. Since the GYMs are loaded at 86.6% of capacity, and the Michelin LTs are loaded to 82.1% of capacity; this slight reduction in percentage of maximum rated tire load doesn't seem to explain a reduction in the tire failure rate of 66.7% to zero. (Note: For purposes of this discussion, trailer weight is assumed to be 4,400 pounds, per Airstream specifications.)

    In the case of the Maxxis ST tires, the load carrying capacity was actually decreased by 150 pounds per tire, by switching to the XPS Ribs; and the percentage of maximum rated tire load increased from 77.7% for the Maxxis tires to 82.1% for the XPS Ribs. Yet, the Maxxis' 50% failure rate decreased to zero by switching to XPS Ribs.

    Also, the statement about "category 4" (road hazard) failures doesn't seem applicable; because LT tires are just as susceptible to nails and road debris as STs. Thus, simply stated, the only logical reason for the decreased tire failure rate is "LT tires are better than ST tires".

    If nothing else, tire weights imply that LTs have heavier tire casing construction; and (according to manufacturer's specifications) these two Michelins have a third steel radial belt under thicker tread. Note that the LTX MS/2 weighs 7-9 pounds more than the ST tires, and the XPS Rib is 18-20 pounds heavier (most likely due to steel sidewall construction).

  • "If the probability of a single tire failure is 1%"

    I'm not sure where the 1% tire failure rate came from, but I'll assume this was selected as a convenient number for discussion purposes. If this percentage is accurate, could you please reference your source?

  • "then the probability of a single failure in that population of 6 is 6% - and the probability of 2 failures is 0.36% (6% X 6%), - and the probability of 3 failures is 0.0216%."

    Unless tire manufacturers use special statistical models to project tire failures, this mathematical sequence is illogical. Assuming a 1% failure rate from your previous statement, the probability of a single failure in a population of six, should be 1%. Could you please explain further...

  • "in a population of 10,000 vehicles (how many travel trailers are there in the US?), the statistics say there will be 2 where that has occurred."

    Not sure how these numbers were derived. In any case, the observed failure rate, albeit in an extremely small sample, was 50%. Plus, the poll failure rate was over 50%. So, any percentages calculated using the above logic is seriously flawed somewhere.

  • "If there were no changes at all - that the probability of not getting another failure is 94%."

    Again, percentage and logic seems flawed.

While the sample population in this poll is admittedly miniscule in comparison to the total number of same size and load range tires installed on all trailers, the poll participants voted with out-of-pocket dollars and hours of personal time spent broken down on the road and waiting in tire shops. So, these numbers ARE significant to us.

Regardless of the underlying reasons for tire failures, if breakdowns can be significantly reduced by spending a few hundred dollars extra to replace ST tires with LT tires; then that's what many of us will do (or have already done). I was just hoping that advice from two tire engineers would support what many of us have already discovered by trial and error; and your recommendations would help those still on the fence, to lower the probability of future tire problems.


Note: Tables were downloaded from TireRack.com. I have no affiliation with this company, and use their data only because it is well organized and conveniently arranged.

.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #116
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One other variable to consider. Your Airstream came equipped with GYM's. You have a tire failure. You've been reading this forum, so you switch to LT tires. But you've been bitten once, so now you are extra careful about tire loads, pressures, age, etc. So now your failure rate goes down to zero....
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:36 PM   #117
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Not sure what happened to the graphic I posted, but here it is again:
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Name:	Comparison of ST & LT Tire Specifications - Tire Rack.JPG
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:36 AM   #118
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I truncated this post to save space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
..........
  • Also, the statement about "category 4" (road hazard) failures doesn't seem applicable; because LT tires are just as susceptible to nails and road debris as STs. Thus, simply stated, the only logical reason for the decreased tire failure rate is "LT tires are better than ST tires".......
I'm sorry, but I think I've managed to confuse matters more, rather than clarifying them.

And rather than digging deeper, I'm going to stop.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:48 AM   #119
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It would have been better to just concede that LT tires are better designed and more reliable.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:18 AM   #120
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Knock on wood I have not had a ST tire failure. However, I do not have a lot of choices for boat trailer and 16' Sport. I do change out every fourth year with new tires. If I had other choices I would certainly consider. Continue to learn about tires and perhaps one day we'll have better choices of ST rating tires.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:31 PM   #121
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My failures of ST tires came at the end of year 3 or beginning of year 4 of use. I just think that with my heavy slide out unit, an ST tire's useful life is no more than 3 years. From a cost stand point I believe that an LT tire in my situation is more economical if you get at least 5 seasons from them rather than 3 from the ST. Compound that by the damage a failed ST tire can inflict, a good LT tire has a lot of cost benefits.

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Old 03-08-2015, 02:10 PM   #122
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Another factor of the gazillion factors. My anecdotal experience is that a tire is more likely to pick up a screw or nail when the tread is less deep, thus a well worn tire is more vulnerable to road hazards like that. New Marathons have substantially less tread than new Michelin LR E LTX tires—perhaps that may increase road hazard vulnerability. Someone get a grant and publish the results.

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Old 03-08-2015, 09:41 PM   #123
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The underlying problem is that setting standards for industry, providing product oversight, deregulation and conducting studies that will allow us to draw conclusions about the kind/make of tire would be the safest and most economical for our Airstreams is not possible in this political climate.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:51 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle & Bear View Post
The underlying problem is that setting standards for industry, providing product oversight, deregulation and conducting studies that will allow us to draw conclusions about the kind/make of tire would be the safest and most economical for our Airstreams is not possible in this political climate.
I'm a bit confused. It seems you want US DOT to set better standards and improve product oversight but at the same time are asking for deregulation. These objectives are in direct opposition on each other.

I completely agree that conducting studies is much less likely given the current political climate of cutting budgets for DOT.

One note regarding the DOT. They have a well established system of collecting data which helps them prioritize the investigations they can conduct within their current budget. The main problem is us, the RV owners. As a group we do an abysmal job of filing complete meaningful complaints on the NHTSA reporting site. Over the past few years I have reviewed complaints filed and of the few that have been submitted (smaller number than seen in this thread) many have incorrect or missing information. Many can't even provide the correct tire size or brand, never mind the most critical bit of information the full DOT serial.

As a challenge to see if you could file a complaint see if you can do this.
- Assume you had a tire failure on your Left front position and after having the tire replaced by a service truck or at a tire store 150 miles from home you decide to file a complaint. Remember you no longer have the pieces of the failed tire as you didn't want to carry it around and don't have space to store it for the rest of your vacation.
1. Can you properly identify the brand and design tire that failed
2. Can you provide the complete DOT serial?
3. Can you provide a statement of the actual tire load?
4. Can you confirm the tire inflation just prior to the failure. This does not mean the inflation an hour or couple of days before the failure but the inflation 5 min before the failure.

If you can't accurately answer all 4 questions without going out and inspecting your Left Front tire how do you expect to provide NHTSA with actionable information so they can consider initiating an investigation?

FYI I have covered the topic of filing complaints with NHTSA a couple of times on my blog if you need more information.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:56 AM   #125
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I don't think NHTSA is interested in a trailer tire like they would be in a LT tire.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:34 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
I'm a bit confused. It seems you want US DOT to set better standards and improve product oversight but at the same time are asking for deregulation. These objectives are in direct opposition on each other.
I wondered about that too.

Without DOT regulations, we would have a lot less information about tires.

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