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Ontario family surprised brand new winter tires turned out to be three years old


A Newmarket, Ont. family was surprised when they bought a brand new set of winter tires last month that turned out to be more than three years old.

"When I went to pick up the tires they had a 2020 date stamp, meaning that they were sitting for three years on the shelf as old stock," John Britnell told CTV News Toronto.

Britnell, and his wife Kerri-Lee, bought the tires for their Honda Fit and are concerned that if they ever planned to sell in the future, the already three-year-old tires could be an issue.

"The tire dealer said it's not illegal to sell tires that are older. They kind of hummed and hawed that they were still new stock and that they have never been on the road," John Britnell said.

There are many markings on the sidewall of a tire with sizing, speed ratings and other information, but if you want to know when it was manufactured, you'll have to look out for the four numbers in a small oval.

The first two numbers are the week the tire was made, while the next two represent the year. Britnell's tires had date code 2920, meaning it was made in the 29th week of 2020.

According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), most vehicles travel an annual average of 20,000 kilometres, so most tires must be replaced after about five years.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's website, a set of tires "should not be older than 10 years."

TRAC said it's good for consumers to know there are manufacturing dates on tires but said drivers should be fine as long as their new tires have never been used and were correctly stored in a cool location away from direct sunlight.

"Most people drive enough that their tires will need to be replaced long before age becomes an issue," said Michal Majernik, communications manager with TRAC.

Majernik advises drivers to register their new tires with the manufacturer so that if a problem arises, there will be a record of the purchase date.

"People are getting more educated, so they know there is a date code on the tire, and that's a good thing," said Majernik. "It may be a concern for some, but it shouldn't be from an operations standpoint."

The Britnells said everyone should get into the habit of checking tire manufacturing date codes on new tires before they're installed.

"Ask questions, when buying new tires when were they manufactured, before they get put on your vehicle or before they get put on your rims" said Kerrie-Lee Britnell.

For tires older than the year 2000, a different code system is used – though they shouldn't currently be on the road anymore.

Checking tire dates may be a more important issue for those who don't drive very much, or if you have a classic car, you plan to keep long-term. Top Stories

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