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How Scammers Make Dangerously Worn Tires Look New

Steven R. Andrade June 3, 2016

Car Accidents Caused by Old Tires

Santa Barbara residents should understand the risks of being scammed by people who are selling dangerously worn tires. When people drive with worn tires, serious auto accidents can occur as a result of tread separation or blow outs. According to an article from Consumer Reports, car that have tires with poor threads are much more likely to be involved in a severe traffic collision than vehicles with new, properly inflated tires. That report cited a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which highlighted that “under-inflated and worn tires increase the likelihood of a crash.

Given that worn tires cause car accidents, Andrade Law Offices recognizes that it is very important for Southern California residents to avoid being scammed by anyone selling worn tires that they claim are still safe for use. According to a recent article in, there is no industry oversight when it comes to the selling of used tires. As a result, scam artists are reported to be “taking old, worn-out tires and re-grooving them into newer looking ones that they can sell as used for more money.” In other words, these scam artists are preying upon people who cannot afford to buy new tires and are looking for used tires that still have enough tread to be safe for the road.

What to Look for With New Tires

How are scam artists making threadbare tires look relatively new? First, it is important to understand what happens when a tire gets worn. The grooves in the tread that channel water become more shallow as a tire wears until the tires are not safe for use. Scam artists, according to the article, cut new grooves into worn tires. They pull out the old rubber, and they shave down the grooves on the edges or shoulders to make it look all the more unused and uniform.” These tires can blow out while you are driving, and they also are more susceptible to being punctured by a roadway object.

You should know tell-tale warning signs to look for when buying used tires. First, you may be able to guess that your tires are not actually lightly used based on price alone. Most new tires cost between $150 to $200, and used tires should be priced accordingly. If the price tag on your used tires strikes you as too low, you may be the intended target of a scam. Buying from an authorized used tire dealer can help to ensure that you do not become the victim of a tire scam.

How to Check the Age of Tires

If you are not sure about the quality of tire you are purchasing, you can check their age through a Tire Identification Number (TIN), according to a report from As that report explains, TINs are somewhat similar to your car's vehicle identification number (VIN). They give important information about your tires. In short, TINs allow consumers to identify the week and year the tire was produced.

According to the report, the NHTSA requires TINs to begin with a combination of the letters DOT, followed by ten, eleven, or twelve letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size, and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire were manufactured. As of 2000, the last four numbers of all TINs represent the week and year of manufacturer. For instance, if your tires were made during the 51st week of 2007, the last four numbers will be 5107.

Contact a Santa Barbara Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident from old tires, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. An experienced car accident attorney in Santa Barbara can help. Contact Andrade Law Offices today for more information about our services.