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GM adds tire age warning after a horrific end to a family vacation

Posted on December 30th, 2012

After a family vacation at Disneyland, three generations of the Taylor family were returning to their home in Phoenix when tragedy struck. On July 3rd, 2010 the tread of the right rear tire on their 2003 Chevy Trailblazer separated, causing a fatal crash.

John Taylor was driving when the tread separated and he lost control of the blazer. His eight-year-old grandson, Quinn Levi, was ejected from the vehicle after the third-row seat belt unlatched. Taylor’s wife, Eileen, his son-in-law, Bill, and his daughter Susanne Levi, suffered upper body injuries.

The tire in which the tread separated was a seven year old spare that was put on the trailblazer in 2007. Before that, the tire had been stored in spare well, right up near the engine exhaust system, where the hot exhaust pipe accelerated the thermo-oxidation of the tire. This caused deterioration of strength. The rubber in the tire also aged with time, even though it had been stored away from the elements.

The sad story of the Taylor family serves as a reminder to all drivers to keep up the maintenance on their tires as well as replacing tires after six years, even if they are used little or not at all.

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