Research Center

Are Retread Tires Safe and Legal?

Yes, retread tires are both safe and legal. Not only are retread tires safe and legal, but they are also a more economical and environmentally friendly way to extend the life of tires in any fleet.

Since retreading first became possible more than a century ago, massive advances have been made in the design, performance and safety of retread tires. You can trust that properly maintained retread tires are a wise decision for your vehicles and machinery without compromising safety.

Retread Tire Safety

The U.S. federal government has determined that retread tires are no more dangerous than any other tire. The 2008 “Commercial Medium Tire Debris Study” from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified no direct link between retread tires and vehicle or highway safety, provided that all standard tire maintenance regimens are followed closely.

It is a common misconception that tire rubber debris on highways are due to tire retreading. Many think that retread tires are more susceptible to heat and other safety concerns, but this simply is not true. Issues like heat build-up, under-inflation and over-inflation, and tread baldness impacts any tire, brand new or retread. It is essential that you follow tire maintenance and inflation best practices in your fleet.

Retread tires go through rigorous inspection and testing processes, and Bandag only retreads tire casings that meet our stringent standards. All-new tread is molded over well-maintained casings with solid structural integrity, and remolding strengthens the sidewalls. Major airlines to race teams to shipping companies to school buses rely on high-quality and safe retread tires for their vehicle fleets.

Legal Regulations for Recap Tires

Federal Retread Regulations

There are no current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) mandated tire retread standards, but there are clear manufacturing quality and safety standards governing retread tires. Some federal government vehicles are even required by the Department of Energy to use retread tires in the U.S. Federal Executive Order #13149. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also indicates that commercial motor carriers are allowed to transport hazardous materials with retreaded tires.

State Retread Regulations

There are many states that have safety regulations implemented for commercial vehicles and retread tires, and some limit the locations that a retread tire may be used, like the front wheels of buses. But zero states ban the use of retread tires on vehicles of any kind. The primary focus of legal regulation around retread tires is simply ensuring that they meet criteria for tread depth and ply ratings. For example, Connecticut has very specific guidelines on bead wires and tread separation.

Retread tires are safe, legal and smart.

The evidence is conclusive that retread tires are not only safe and legal, but also the smart choice for fleets. Be sure to work with trusted tire retreaders near you that follow a meticulous process with uncompromising standards for tire quality and safety. Your local Bandag retread manufacturer is your best resource to learn more about a tire maintenance regimen to achieve the best performance and safety out of your retread tires!