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Re: Toyo Open Country / AT Tires - (alj)

I went ahead and purchased the Toyo Open Countries and so far they have been great. In matter of fact, they may have saved my XC-90 and possibly my life!

So far, the tires ride great, there quite for an AT tire, handle great in mountain driving conditions, they corner with less sway, and work great in snow. They also really toughen up the look of the vehicle. I have had several compliments in the five days that I have owned them.

Now to saving my XC-90 and possibly my life. This weekend, I had a very scary experience on I-70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel. After whitewater canoeing in sunny 60 degree weather on the Arkanas river, we drove back on I-70 late in the day and hit a mother of a spring snow storm on the Continental divide.

Everybody was caught off guard, motorcycles, non-winter capable cars, RVs, semis with no chains, driving in 5-6" of very wet snow and dumping to where you can barely see the front of your car. If you know this stretch of highway, it is six lanes for the most part that goes from 8,000' up to 13,000' at the tunnel and then back down. Once you commit heading East after Dillion, CO, there is no turning around. I felt very sorry for these people as they were in great danger with this storm.

We get to the top in dumping snow without any problems, drove through the West side of the tunnel, and come out to a 15-20 multi-car accident with about 50 cars in all pulled over and it was still going on. Motorcycles on the ground, cars wrecked all over the place. People were still going fast in the tunnel as it was dry and then they came up on the wreck. Anticipating a possible problem on this downhill decent, I saw it well in advance and was committed to the left lane that I was in. The tires and the XC-90 stopped excellent to the point I was worried about getting hit from behind so I kept going at fast as possible but at a safe speed to avoid being rear ended.

I then looked in my right side mirror and see a van doing at least 50MPH. He did not see what was going on until it was too late. He locked up his brakes and the van looked like a skate. People were outside of there cars looking and talking about the accident, when they saw this guy coming. They then realized what was going on and were running for their life to get out of his way. He passed me like I was standing still and hit two already stopped, wrecked cars in just in front of me on the passenger side. I was already trying to remain cool and dodge the carnage. The van hits the cars and pushes them in my direction and parts flying in the air all over the place. The van then runs over some motorcycles that were all ready fallen to the ground and goes off the right side of the road. He somehow stopped in the snow bank before rolling down the hill into the Loveland Ski area parking lot.

Luckily, I avoided the wrecked cars and flying parts and did not get rear ended. My heart was pounding as in this situation you really have no control over the other knuckleheads.

I can tell you that if I would have had my XC-90 OEM highway tires (Michelin Synchrone) in new condition on this car, I would have been in that wreck, no question in my mind. With that said, I had somewhat woren snow tires on my XC-90 before putting on the Toyos. If you live in snow country, get those OEM highway tires off, until you are sure there will be no more snow! It only takes one snow storm situation like this to really get your attention. Shew!

Modified by alj at 5:10 PM 5-2-2006
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