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We WOULD be held liable is not necessarily accurate. They COULD be held liable possibly.

If the front and rear tires are 1mm different in diameter, it's not going to suddenly snap your car in half and cover the highway in blood. Depending on the design of your 4-wheel drive system, it could result in very slightly more heat being generated in a viscous coupling, or a bit more pressure being put onto gear teeth and slightly more tire wear. Worst case would be in something like a Jeep Rubicon where it's got completely mechanical drive and both sets of axles can be fully, mechanically locked, and you're driving on concrete with pretty sticky tires. In THAT case, it would eventually wear out or break something, and could cause the car to drive wonky in the meantime.

But there is a chance - in our overly litigious society - that some idiot could have an accident and sue the company that sold him tires. So they've got a corporate policy not to fit them piecemeal. And sure, if it happens to work in their favor with regard to sales, they certainly aren't going to be motivated to back off of it. They could probably do what you want, and have you just sign a release that says they've warned you, but if it's helping their sales they aren't motivated to allow that.

I know several larger, chain type stores do this. But there are plenty of smaller local shops that will do whatever you ask them to do.

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