2003 Taurus

We purchased a new 2003 Taurus for my wife in 2003. Recently I checked the tires and find that they were manufactured in January 1999. I e-mailed Ford
asking for a rebate to purchase new tires. The car only has 12,000+ miles on it and the tires appear to be OK - BUT I don't understand why Ford put 4 year old tires on a new car. Attempts to rectify this situation with Ford dealers brings no results. The dealers claim this is an issue with the tire manufacturer, but seem to think Ford has no responsibility. Any suggestions??
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Not sure if tires have an "expiry date". They may have been in inventory in a warehouse for 3 years before being installed.
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Make sure you are reading the date codes right, because the tires getting 'lost' in a Tire Co. main warehouse for three years before being shipped to a Ford plant and installed on a new car would be VERY unusual. The norm would be three months, tops.
It is far more likely that the shenanigans happened at your local Ford dealership - and there are many ways it could happen. Often they get demands to get another car ready to sell "Right NOW!" and will swap parts with another car in inventory to get the other one ready - like a set of tires.
That other car came with Michelins and the customer insists on the Firestones, and if the dealer can't come up with a set the buyer will go across town to a dealer that does have the car the way he wants. So they steal the tires off another car in inventory...
Then they put new tires on the car you eventually bought from the parts inventory, and these happened to be sitting in the parts department for a few years.
The only way to know for sure would be a "Build Sheet" from the factory saying what tires they shipped it with. If it came off the assembly line with Firestones and you bought it with Michelins...
Then your beef is with the dealer, not Ford. And good luck getting that corrected 5+ years after the fact. But if you can prove it with the Build Sheet that they did something less than totally ethical, they might fess up.
(They should have checked the codes and not used New Old Stock tires on a new car. Sell them to the local Pizza Shop for their delivery car that racks up miles like crazy.)
Now then...
Unless you see signs of cracks or weather-checking in the rubber from ozone and age deterioration, or odd bulges or bubbles from internal delamination, don't worry about it too much. Tires need to be watched for aging after they are 6 years old and definitely after 10, but they don't necessarily go bad from age that fast. And getting an occasional coat of tire dressing helps seal out the ozone.
I don't condemn tires out of hand till at least 12 - 15 years with signs of checking. And that's usually reserved for spare tires - pick the best worn tire and make it the new spare, then toss the old spare.
And a tire shop that tries to sell you a new set of tires based solely on the age of the tires (with no signs of any impending trouble) is trying to make a few easy bucks off you. Run away.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Thanks Bruce for your input. I got a build sheet from Ford for a 2005 Freestyle and while it did say what size tires were installed, it did not give the manufacturer - so I'm not sure that getting a build sheet for the Taurus would solve anything. I like your advice about checking the tires for signs of cracks or weather-checking in the rubber from ozone and age deterioration . I plan to do that tomorrow taking the car to a reliable tire dealer I've dealt with for 25 years or more to get thier opinion. Thanks....
wrote: Make sure you are reading the date codes right, because the tires

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i saw the documentary on tire too. they stated that tires start drying out the minute they are made and should be changed after years. and that tire dealers are selling years old tires for new.. interesting. lucas
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