An investigation by our affiliate KNXV uncovered serious safety problems with school bus tires in the Phoenix, Ariz. area. ABC15 investigators found clear signs of damage on school bus tires from six different school districts, including tires with missing chunks of rubber, huge gashes and peeling tire treads.
ABC15 also found school buses with aged tires ranging from six to nine years old. As reported on The Blotter and 20/20, safety experts say tires over six years old are potentially dangerous because as the rubber ages and cracks it can lead to a possible tread separation. The tire industry maintains that there is no evidence supporting a defined shelf life for tires. (click here for ABC tire aging reports)
According to the KNXV report, while Arizona mandates annual school bus inspections, the state's Department of Public Safety only has five inspectors to examine over eight thousand buses. Several of the school districts named in the report turned down interview requests; the Phoenix Union High School District said its tires exceed Arizona safety standards.
(click here to read and view full KNXV report)