Monday, June 17 2013 11:57 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:57:25 GMT
(WMC-TV) - An upstart electric car company made the promise of providing hundreds of new jobs in North Mississippi almost one year ago. Taxpayers helped foot the bill to land Greentech Automotive, andMore >>
An upstart electric car company made the promise of providing hundreds of new jobs in North Mississippi almost one year ago. Taxpayers helped foot the bill to land Greentech Automotive, and now they want a return on their investment. More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:54 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:54:56 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Memphis teenager is in jail for pointing a loaded gun at a family. Memphis Police said it was a bad case of road rage. Investigators said Carlissa Rodgers got so mad that she pointed a revolverMore >>
A Memphis teenager is in jail for pointing a loaded gun at a family.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:26:14 GMT
(WMC-TV) - There was a heated debate at the Shelby County Commission meeting Monday, but it was not just commissioners involved in the discussion. Homeowners were there, too. The proposed ordinance atMore >>
There was a heated debate in the Shelby County Commission meeting Monday, but it was not just commissioners involved in the discussion. Homeowners were there, too.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:12 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:12:40 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's push for a Nashville charter school was put to an end recently. Herenton said if Nashville does not want a charter school to help juvenile offenders thenMore >>
Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's push for a Nashville charter school was put to an end recently.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:04 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:04:35 GMT
(WMC-TV) - One firefighter was injured after a Memphis family's home went up in flames Monday night. A Whitehaven home, near Hester Road and Lexie Drive, caught fire around 8 p.m. The injured firefighterMore >>
One firefighter was injured after a Memphis family's home went up in flames Monday night.More >>
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two lawsuits filed in Shelby County Circuit Court reveal a secret about the sale of new tires in the Mid-South.
The secret: some new tires aren't new at all.
Both lawsuits center on a single-car accident Aug. 2007 in Crittenden County, AR. According to the complaints, Teresa Taylor was driving her 1997 Mercury Mountaineer westbound on Interstate 40 just west of West Memphis, AR.
Taylor's attorneys allege the tread on her rear driver's side tire - bought NEW from a Whitehaven Sears Auto Center just a year before - simply peeled off. Taylor lost control. Her SUV skidded across the median, flipped and rolled over.
The accident killed her 15-year-old cousin Tevin Pettis, one of her passengers.
"I didn't run over anything," says Taylor. "I didn't hit anybody, but I just did not know what caused the accident."
Investigating the accident, attorneys discovered a U.S. Department of Transportation code on the tire with these four digits: 2102.
The attorneys say those numbers indicate the tire was manufactured in 2002. That means it sat on a shelf for FOUR YEARS before it was sold AS NEW to Taylor in 2006.
"A tire should not sit on the shelf two or three years before it is put into service or sold to someone," says Julian Bolton, a Memphis attorney who represents Pettis' mother. "They should not be on sale as 'new' tires."
Michael Dorr, manager of Cordova's Gateway Tire & Service Center, taught the Action News 5 Investigators how to decipher the DOT code etched on every tire. He says the first two digits are the WEEK it was made. The last two digits are the YEAR.
That means the tire that may have caused Taylor's accident ("2102") was manufactured in the 21st week of 2002.
Dorr says tires with 3-digit DOT codes were made before the year 2000. So a tire coded "189" would have been manufactured the 18th week of 1999.
"Once you know what you're looking for, it's something simple," says Dorr. "I don't see anything misleading there."
The problem is most tire manufacturers etch the code on the INSIDE WALL of the tire. If the tire is already on a vehicle, someone has to get under the car to inspect the code.
"It is a hidden disclosure, if you will," says Memphis attorney Jeff Rosenblum, an expert in wrongful death cases who has assisted counsel in aging tire litigation. "And that's what's deceptive. That's what's confusing to the consumer."
Rosenblum says the chemical process of constructing a passenger tire, called vulcanization, actually cooks the rubber and steel together, giving it elasticity and strength. After a while, he says, that process starts to decompose, even if the tire has never hit the road.
"It may look brand, spanking new, and the consumer has no way of knowing that particular tire could be deadly," he says.
Bolton says the tire that failed in Taylor's accident was inspected twice: once by the Sears in Whitehaven a year before the accident and again 11 days before the accident by a Firestone service center in Raleigh.
"This car was serviced and tires rotated, and no one noticed that the tires were aging," Bolton says.
Larry Costello, communications director for Sears Holding Corporation, says the company would not comment on pending litigation.
Dan MacDonald, executive director of communications for Firestone's parent company Bridgestone Americas, says Bridgestone-Firestone's guideline is to inspect all tires by five years of age and replace all tires 10 years old or older.
"We believe strongly that Firestone acted totally appropriately in (Taylor's) case, and we believe that this case is without merit," says MacDonald.
As early as 1990, Volkswagen added a warning to its vehicles' owners manuals. It acknowledged that tires do deteriorate with age, and since then, it has recommended replacing them after SIX years. Ford and Chrysler followed suit, also advocating a 6-year shelf life for passenger tires.
But the Rubber Manufacturers Association has fought all efforts to mandate a shelf-life.
"RMA is not aware of scientific or technical data that establishes or identifies a specific minimum or maximum service life for passenger and light truck tires," says spokesperson Dan Zielinski.
In June, Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. of Rehoboth, MA, submitted the results of its study of aging tires to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The results document 159 accidents involving tire tread or belt separation since 1992 -- 128 fatalities, 168 injuries.
Every one of them involved a tire that was six years old or older.
According to the study, four of the tires were sold AS NEW, although their DOT codes indicated they were four, seven, even 11 years old at the time of their sale.
"NHTSA recognize(s) that tire age degradation presents a hazard...The public is still at risk because it has little or no information about this mostly invisible hazard...However, the outreach to consumers has been virtually nil," SRS says in the study.
"We do not have jurisdiction over retail sales. Congress has only given us the authority over the manufacturers," says Rae Tyson, a NHTSA spokesperson. "We recommend that people follow the (tire) manufacturer's guidelines."
"They have not required the auto manufacturers or, perhaps more importantly the tire manufacturers, to warn the consumers," argues Rosenblum.
NHTSA has passed an administrative rule that requires all tire manufacturers to etch the DOT code on the OUTSIDE WALL of every tire after September 2009.
Armed with how to decipher the code, the Action News 5 Investigators inspected the tire inventories of eight Mid-South tire retailers.
At both Costco locations (Wolfchase area and Winchester) and at the Firestone at Eastgate Shopping Center in East Memphis, we found tires for sale AS NEW that had codes indicating they were made in 2006.
At two Wal-Mart locations (Cordova and Southaven, MS), each passenger tire was coded as 2008. But at the Southaven store, we found a trailer tire for sale on the retail rack that was coded for the year 2000.
At Elite Tire on Range Line Road in Frayser, the new tires we inspected all coded for 2008. But we found a tire in Nikita Martin's $10-15 used inventory that was coded for 2002.
The same year as the tire that failed in Taylor's deadly accident.
"It's out of date," admitted Martin. He immediately took the tire out of circulation and put it next to a dumpster.
We also inspected Dorr's inventory at his Cordova Gateway store. Every tire we inspected was coded as a 2008 tire. The remaining store, 61 Tire Company on Lamar Ave. in Southeast Memphis, also had every new tire coded for 2008.
Monday, June 17 2013 6:32 PM EDT2013-06-17 22:32:22 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The animal abuse trial against a former Memphis Animal Services employee was dismissed by the judge Monday. Demetria Hogan was indicted on misconduct, forgery, and cruelty charges last year. TheMore >>
The animal abuse trial against a former Memphis Animal Services employee was dismissed by the judge Monday.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:14 AM EDT2013-06-17 15:14:04 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Two murder suspects wanted in Lafayette County are now in the custody of the sheriff's department. Anthony Smith and Alison Alexander were wanted in connection with the murder of a man nearMore >>
Two murder suspects wanted in Lafayette County are now in the custody of the sheriff's department.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 10:18 AM EDT2013-06-17 14:18:05 GMT
(WMC-TV) – A Memphis man goes to court Monday to face charges that he beat his girlfriend's baby to death. Meanwhile, relatives of the dead child are pleading for help to raise money for a funeral. CiriyahMore >>
A Memphis man goes to court Monday to face charges that he beat his girlfriend's baby to death. Meanwhile, relatives of the dead child are pleading for help to raise money for a funeral.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 3:37 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:37:59 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The case against a 14-year-old charged in the murder of his own mother is delayed indefinitely. The teen is charged with first-degree murder of his mother Gwendolyn Wallace. Early reportsMore >>
The case against a 14-year-old charged in the murder of his own mother is delayed indefinitely.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 12:40 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:40:09 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Deputy Superintendent David Stephens will provide facts about the payroll harmonization process for employees in the unified district Friday at 2:30 p.m. ActionMore >>
Just days before the start of the new school year, teachers in Shelby County learned they are being switched to the city schools payroll calendar. It means at least 3,000 county teachers will miss two weeks pay at the beginning of the year.More >>
Saturday, June 15 2013 5:31 PM EDT2013-06-15 21:31:37 GMT
(WMC-TV) – Tens of thousands of dollars may be missing from a Memphis high school. Boosters and the district are working to determine exactly how much and who took it. The Melrose High School sign doesMore >>
Tens of thousands of dollars may be missing from a Memphis high school. Boosters and the district are working to determine exactly how much and who took it.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:55 AM EDT2013-06-17 13:55:43 GMT
Earnest Moore, the Focus of a manhunt since Friday, has surrendered to the Shelby County sheriff's Office. He was wanted for allegedly shooting his girlfriend and her three daughters in Nashville.More >>
An intense manhunt is over after a man accused of shooting a woman and three children in Nashville winds up in Memphis. Earnest Woodley turned himself into the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Saturday, June 15 2013 6:34 PM EDT2013-06-15 22:34:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) – A Memphis man who spent a month in jail for hitting and killing a Cordova man with his car is in trouble again. Twenty-year-old Samer Sakaan has been charged with theft of property over $500. SakaanMore >>
A Memphis man who spent a month in jail for hitting and killing a Cordova man with his car is in trouble again. Twenty-year-old Samer Sakaan has been charged with theft of property over $500.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 12:27 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:27:45 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The animal abuse trial against a former Memphis Animal Services employee is expected to start Monday. Demetria Hogan was indicted on misconduct, forgery, and cruelty charges last year. TheMore >>
The animal abuse trial against a former Memphis Animal Services employee is expected to start Monday morning. More >>
Friday, June 14 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-06-15 03:48:47 GMT
(WMC-TV) – A Mid-South pastor has been charged with sex crimes with a young teenage girl in Alcorn County, Mississippi. Timothy Daniel Nall, pastor of Farmington Baptist Church near Corinth is accusedMore >>
A Mid-South pastor has been charged with sex crimes with a young teenage girl in Alcorn County, Mississippi.More >>