HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (March 22) — Ford Motor Co. will petition the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a consumer advisory that motorists change their tires after six years of service, said a top Ford scientist at the Clemson Tire Industry Conference last week.
John M. Baldwin, polymer technical leader at Ford, also said his company will recommend a tire aging specification based on Ford-devised oven aging and stepped-up load tests as a way of reducing age as a factor in tire failures. The extensive data Ford has generated suggest strongly that six years is an appropriate and defensible service limit for tires, Baldwin said.
He also said that Ford kept the tire industry in the loop about its research — through peer-reviewed articles, industry conference presentations and work with the American Society for Testing and Materials — despite the industry´s claims otherwise. "We engaged the industry as soon as we started work on this," Baldwin said.