Tire Trouble

May 9, 2008 5:27:47 PM PDT
You're used to checking the expiration dates on food and medicine but it may be just as critical to check the date on your tires. Action News first alerted our viewers to this issue three years ago. But unfortunately, old tires continue to lead to accidents. And in some cases, even death.

That's the message from one Bucks County father.

He said an old tire is responsible for his son's death.

Andy Moore was about to begin his second year at Lehigh University when he was killed in a car accident.

"You get an overwhelming sense of horror. I started screaming into the phone," said Bob Moore, Andy's father. Andy had been driving his father's van. When, the tread on one of the tires peeled off.

"It was shocking to me. First of all to learn the tires were old when I bought them. The tires were almost four years old when I bought them as new tires and I didn't know that was possible," added Moore.

But it is. In February of 2005, Action News introduced you to Marisol Peralta. She lost her 10 year old daughter after an old tire blew out on the minivan they were riding in.

"I feel sad and it hurts to know that I lost my daughter because of a tire," said Peralta.

Some car manufacturers and consumer groups are calling for expiration dates be put on tires.

"It's just like that old rubber band that over time may get brittle and snap. Unfortunately tires degrade in ways that aren't always visible and they degrade even just in storage," said Attorney Jane Marton. But as Action News has told you, there is a way you can tell when a tire was manufactured.

And tonight on World News and 20-20, you'll get a refresher course on how to crack the code.

You'll also see ABC's hidden camera investigation.

20-20 teamed up with affiliates across the country to see just how often old tires are sold as new by major retailers.