Stupid question Weds. Ask your car related question and maybe someone will have an answer.

Not aesthetic. FMVSS regulations were pretty clear on this back then. Stock tires were Y rated, so becoming unstable at 110 MPH was a manufacturer liability. Back then, by using Y rated tires, they were indirectly claiming that their vehicle would be safe up to the limits of the tire. The standard before 2002ish was that cars that shipped with a tire rated for 186 MPH had to be tested at high speed. The new final rule was not issued until around 2002 or 2003. The recall began in 2000.

Though the proposed test may serve as a minimum requirement and be appropriate for non-speed rated tires, it does not require that higher speed rated tires (S and above), the most common on new cars, be tested to the limits of their claimed speed capability. CU disagrees with this approach as it does not reflect the speed capacity claim defined by the speed symbol on the tire. CU supports a stepped speed test that will test all speed rated tires to their maximum speed rating. Without such tests, the higher speed ratings have little value to the consumer other than marketing hype. Indeed, the tire industry itself has a speed schedule that would provide testing to the tire’s maximum speed capability under RMA 2000.

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