Tires are one of the most important comfort, handling and safety components of any vehicle. If they do fail or wear improperly, you may be entitled to a free replacement or a prorated refund if you meet the guidelines.
All tires come with a warranty that represents the manufacturer’s assurance of quality. The warranty is typically for a period of 4 to 6 years from the date of purchase or until the tread wears out. The warranty starts at the time of delivery for a new vehicle or the purchase date if you are buying a new set of tires.
What is Covered Under the Limited Warranty
The limited warranty will only cover a tire if it becomes unusable due to a defect in materials or workmanship. This is typically if a tire is out-of-round, causes vibration or wears unevenly.
Tire companies feel if a tire has a defect it will be apparent rather quickly, within the first three to six months or the first 1/32” to 2/32” of tread wear. After that period it is rather difficult to get a free replacement. Also, tire companies will not accept that all four tires have a defect at the exact same time and will deny a claim to replace them all.
Tread and Mileage Warranty
Tires are also warranted to have a specific life in terms of tread wear. This is typically anywhere from 4 to 6 years and is expressed as years and mileage. As an example, 4 years 50,000 miles or 5 years 60,000 miles.
If your tires wear out in less years or miles than the warranty states, you are entitled to pro-rated replacements. All four tires must wear at the exact same rate and they are not considered worn until the tread is worn to 2/32” of the remaining tread depth. If only one or two tires wear to 2/32” it is determined that improper maintenance or improper use was the cause and they wouldn’t be covered.
The issue is once a tire wears to 2/32” it is considered legally worn in most states and will not pass inspection because they’re unsafe. Once your tires have worn enough to qualify for the warranty they are actually unsafe to drive. Safety is a big issue and tire performance becomes questionable when they get close to the legal limit. Typically, most people will replace their tires well before they become that bad and therefore will not qualify for the warranty.
What Is Not Covered
Conditions outside the control of the tire manufacturer are not covered. These would include:
> Road hazards such as punctures or cuts or damage from impacts or scrapes and bruises.
> Improper use or operations such as driving with under or over inflated tires, overloading the tire’s weight limit, the use of chains or racing.
> Lack of maintenance such as failing to rotate the tires, bad wheel alignment or worn suspension or improper tire balance.
What Voids the Warranty
Not performing the standard maintenance such as regular tire rotations and alignments or not maintaining proper inflation. Also, most people don’t realize driving on a flat tire will immediately void any warranty.