Originally Posted by johnruff
When I bought my Goodyear UniSteels to replace the TowMasters, I also asked about the Sailuns due to the cost of the Goodyear. My tire dealer did not recommend Sailuns - said they were more of the same if not worse. Look at the weight of the tires, good tires weigh considerably more IMO.
I agree with reporting the failed tires but in most cases, when tire failure happens, you are on the road to somewhere and just want to get back on the road and get rid of the bad memory. After all, this just ruined our vacation or our return trip home. If the NHTSA really cared, they would be testing these tires and seeing them fail at an unacceptable rate without us having to go through all the pain.
Have to wonder if the dealer that said Sailuns were no good sells then. Might he simply be badmouthing a competitor?
NHTSA is under budget constraints thanks to Congress, so they have to prioritize and in general all tires are low on the list of items they try and monitor (air bags, seat belts, child seats and any other "safety related item on motor vehicles.
Due to low failure rates of tires and even lower personal injury rates and further down would be fatality rates of less than 1 in 100,000 or fewer complaints.
NHTSA also knows from previous and ongoing data collection that over half of RV owners have one or more tire in overload with most of those due to poor maintenance and low air pressure.
Another issue is that if they only have a few actionable complaints on file how can they justify spending $$ on testing that specific tire. Which one brand and design and size would you advocate spending $30 to $100 thousand on for the battery of tests?
A couple years ago I some time researching and reviewing complaints on file that might have been from RV owners.
What I found were a lot of "sob stories" but very few facts. Less than half had a proper size i.e. "My 205-15 tire failed".. A smaller percentage had the complete DOT serial. Some said things like "My Firestone Marathon tire exploded while on our trip to visit my mother who was sick". Sorry but trip information is on no value and if the complainant can't be bothered to know the brand and design of the tire how can they trust the rest of the information.
Complaints do not need to be long but they really need one thing it's the COMPLETE DOT serial including date code at end. I have advocated that people collect and write down this information before there is a tire problem and keep that info with the rest of your important RV documents. The DOT serial is also used if/when there is a recall so you would need to know the serial to know if your tires are subject to recall. Yes there have been recalls that involve tires that are on RVs.
I do understand that people want to get back on the road but at a minimum would be to capture a couple pictures of the failed tire (tire filling entire frame is best). NHTSA may or may not ask for the pictures in follow up but if you don't even have a couple of pictures exactly what evidence are tou bringing to the table?
You should also try and carry a trash bag large enough to carry the failed tire back to the dealer if you don't have spare tire rack. In reality the dealer is suppose to file a complaint with his distributor so that information can be sent on to NHTSA but sometimes I wonder if they bother so it really is up to us, the users to file the complaint.
Sorry for long post but wanted to use this as a bit of general education.