WASHINGTON (May 23)—Snow tires and other deep lug passenger and light truck tires probably wouldn't pass the proposed new federal safety standards and would have to be phased out of production, according to a number of industry sources. At the center of the issue is the high speed endurance test, designed to evaluate a tire's ability to run safely at high speeds and under stress. The test is designed to keep problems from arising like those that led to the rash of failures of Firestone Wilderness AT, ATX and ATX II tires mounted primarily on Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicles. The Rubber Manufacturers Association plans to submit a comment on the matter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before the June 5 deadline. The trade association that represents tire and other rubber product companies earlier voiced the industry's concerns when NHTSA said the new regulations would make obsolete as many as a third of the tires on U.S. roads today.
New federal regs could threaten snow, certain LT tires
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