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Are Retread Tires Illegal?

Posted by Derrest Williams on

Are Retread Tires Illegal

 Remold Tires a form of retreading has been a reemergence of late with their affordability, environmental nature, and technology improvements.  This has been bringing up a lot of questions about if the retread tires are legal. 

If you ask a bunch of gearheads about remolded or retreaded tires, chances are at least one of them will try to tell you that they’re illegal.

Maybe some old-timers will remember buying/using retreaded tires as a cheap alternative back in the day, but most of them won’t be too sure if they’re still legal. And anyone born in or after the 70s won’t have ever seen a retread tire on anything except semis and construction vehicles.

Why is that? Did retread tires simply vanish only to be ‘rediscovered’ in the past 10 years?

Homer Thinking

Of course not. The answer is simple. In the 80s and 90s Cheap, imported tires outpriced retreaded tires in the domestic market and began to impact how retreads were seen in the minds of the general public. Plus, many people fell victim to the myths of retreading thinking of older retreads simply as cheaper, less safe tires instead of a quality replacement.

And as retreads on passenger cars decreased, the myth that they were unsafe began to increase. To the point where people began to wonder, “Are retreads still legal?

In fact, retreaded tires never went away and have never been illegal. While the market was being flooded with cheap imports, retread/ remolding technology continued to grow and develop. Modern retreads are just as safe and long-lasting as new tires and a single retread uses up to 70% less oil than a brand new tire. 

Think about it, the heaviest loads and largest shipping logistical trucking companies in the US depend strictly on retread tires. They are currently the largest consumer of retreads in North America and their use of retreads is growing every year.

With new remolding, technology retreads have seen growth in another sector where TreadWright Tires specializes.  The outdoor enthusiast, off-roaders and overlanders alike have really embraced the remold tire as a solid first option. With the combined benefits of excellent grip, affordability and good looks (seriously, you should see how good our off-road tires look), many off-road enthusiasts are discovering just how good Treadwright retreads/ remolds are. 

As we talked about in a previous post, the only place where retreads are not allowed to be used is on the front two wheels (steering wheels) of a transit bus.

In fact, now is the best time to be using retreads on your vehicle. Not only has retreading technology come a really long way in the past few years with mold cure technology, but the laws and labeling of retreads have also improved, allowing better quality tires to be produced and identified.

Yet you’ll still get people who complain that retreaded tires litter the side of the road and damage cars when they blow out. The fact is, the main cause of retread tire failure (failure for any type of tire) is underinflation. You can prevent underinflation with our simple tire gauge. The majority of the time, poor maintenance is the cause of tire failure, not manufacturing.

Proper Inflation Recommend

If you ever need to file a claim, insurance companies are unlikely to care if your vehicle is running retreads or new tyres1. If you’ve ever dealt with an insurance company you definitely know that they wouldn't accept your claim if you had illegal tires on your vehicle.

Even the Federal Government uses retreads. As part of a move to reduce petroleum consumption and increase fuel efficiency, the Federal Government issued an executive order in 2000 which required that government vehicles use retread tires were available and if they met performance specs2.

Which leads us to the big ‘but’ (no not that butt) of retreads. Just like anything you get what you pay for. If you want the best performance out of your retread, then you need to be buying from a quality manufacturer that handles the retread process from start to finish. 

TreadWright Tires takes pride in being a long-standing quality manufacture and has been in business for over 40+ years.  We are leading the way in the retread tire industry with using the newest technology, methods and American made casings.  We understand our rebuilt tire is only as good as our casings, which is why we only source American Made casings from the top recyclers.  We promise that our craftsmanship and quality won't let you down.



  1. http://www.retreadtire.org/interesting-articles_is-it-really-safe-to-use-retreads-on-my-truck-or-car_17.htm
  2. https://www.fedcenter.gov/Bookmarks/index.cfm?id=58

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