This spring, in a Get Jesse Investigation, I went shopping for used tires. I bought them cheap at around $20 each. But under further inspection the tires could have been very costly if ever put on a car.
"You see the tread indicators on the tires? They're getting down there. You see the cracks that are in the tread pattern themselves? That tells me they have been sitting out for some time. I wouldn't put this on my car," explained Washington State Trooper Guy Gill.
Trooper Gill said folks driving on bad tires may not know the risk they are taking. But in the months after our report, we've learned that new technology may flatten the used tire business. Nick Hodel with Tire Performance Indicators explained how the new technology will work.
"Green you're good. When you see yellow, it’s caution. It's time to think about starting to replace those tires. And if you see red, you should be replacing the tires," said Hodel.
That's right, the tires change colors based on use. The new technology only costs about $5 more per tire. Both are being tested in Japan and Canada. U.S. tire manufacturers may be next.
"They're the ones that have to build the tire, that have to meet all rigorous federal safety performance standards. And it also has to be marketable," said Dan Zielinski with the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
A study by the rubber manufacturers association found 13% of cars on the road have at least one bald tire. So here's how to protect yourself: make sure your tires have even tread. Also look for tread grooves that are over 5/32". Finally, if you see bulges, cuts or cracks, get those bad boys out of service.
"You're hauling around your friends and family. You don’t want to take a chance and put some bad tires out there," reminded Trooper Gill.