WASHINGTON—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a finding of inconsequential noncompliance in the case of 83,343 tires that have only five treadwear indicators instead of the required six.
The tires in question are Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Load Range D tubeless radials, size LT315/70R17, manufactured between Jan. 28, 2006 and Oct. 31, 2013.
Federal tire safety standards mandate at least six treadwear indicators spaced approximately equally along each tire to allow motorists to determine whether the tread has worn down to 2/32 inch, the point at which tires should be replaced.
Cooper told NHTSA that it believes the noncompliance is inconsequential because the absence of a single treadwear indicator has no real effect on tire or vehicle safety.
The five indicators are easy for any tire technician or motorist to find, according to Cooper. “In fact, when the vehicle is parked, only a small portion of the tread surface is not visible,” stated the notice in the May 22 Federal Register.
NHTSA is requesting comments on Cooper's petition, with a deadline of June 23.