Feds Order Massive Tire Recall

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Messages
6,809
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Feds Order Massive Tire Recall AP Posted: 2007-06-26 18:26:49 NEWARK, New Jersey (June 26) - U.S. safety officials have ordered a New Jersey tire importer to recall as many as 450,000 tires that it bought from a Chinese manufacturer and sold to U.S. distributors. China-Related Recalls AP Foreign Tire Sales said an unknown number of tires it imported from a Chinese company could suffer tread separation. U.S. safety officials have ordered the company to recall as many as 450,000 tires sold under at least four brand names. Foreign Tire Sales Inc., of Union, New Jersey, said an unknown number of the light truck radials it imported since 2002 from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co., of Hangzhou, China, could suffer tread separation, a problem that led to the largest tire recall in the U.S. in 2000. FTS said an unknown number of the tires it sold were made without a safety feature, called a gum strip, which helps bind the belts of a tire to each other, the company said in a filing to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of the tires had a gum strip about half the 0.6 millimeter width that FTS expected, it said. Heather Hopkins, a spokeswoman for NHTSA, said its enforcement officials spoke to FTS on Monday to "let them know we want a full tire recall to take place." "It is FTS' responsibility to do this," Hopkins said. FTS failed to add a "remedy" in its June 11 filing, which is essentially a description of how a company will notify customers and provide proper consumer compensation, Hopkins said. FTS attorney Lawrence N. Lavigne said the tires appear to meet federal standards but could still pose a risk to motorists. "FTS, at great expense, investigated this," Lavigne said. The company, which has about a half-dozen employees, does not have the money to pay for a recall, he said. FTS does not have a warehouse. It has tires shipped directly to distributors, who in turn send them to retail outlets, Lavigne said. FTS said it believes other importers also sold such tires made by Hangzhou Zhongce. The Chinese company has failed to provide information that would allow FTS to determine exactly how many tires, and which batches, have the problem, Lavigne said. According to the filing, the Hangzhou tires at issue were sold under at least four brand names - Westlake, Compass, Telluride and YKS - in these sizes: LT235/75R-15; LT225/75R-16; LT235/85R-16; LT245/75R-16; LT265/75R-16; and LT3X10.5-15. FTS on May 31 sued Hangzhou in U.S. District Court in Newark, charging that its tests found that the tires may fail earlier than those originally provided by Hangzhou, and that a recall would put FTS out of business. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction that would bar Hangzhou products from being imported. The lawsuit was reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal. A Hangzhou Zhongce spokesman contacted by The Associated Press in China said he could not immediately comment. A Hangzhou official reached by the Journal said: "We are aware of this matter, and we are now in the process of responding to the lawsuit. Production and sales at our company remain normal." FTS said it became concerned about Hangzhou tires in October 2005 amid an increase in warranty claims and began talks with the Chinese company, and then commissioned its own tests. FTS was sued in Philadelphia on May 4 by the families of two men killed when a van they were riding in crashed last year. Also suing are the driver and passenger in the van, which the lawsuits claim had Hangzhou tires. The largest tire recall in the U.S. involved 14.7 million Firestone tires in 2000, said Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies, a consumer group. "I wouldn't expect this to rise to that number," he said. FTS, in its filing, said it sold Hangzhou tires to these distributors: Tireco, Compton, California; Strategic Import Supply, Wayzata, Minnesota; Omni United USA Inc., Jacksonville, Florida; Orteck International Inc. of Gaithersburg, Maryland; K&D Tire Wholesalers LLC, Carlsbad, California; and Robinson Tire in Laurel, Mississippi. Associated Press Writer Matthew Verrinder in Trenton contributed to this report.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
867
Location
USA
Can anybody explain in laymans terms what a 'gum strip' is/does? CR, where are you?
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,992
Location
Windsor,Ontario
Greed and cheap Chinese products will kill alot of innocent people.Whom are we going to sue?A company that can close and re-name then re-open in China?This is like watching a train wreck happen.I have and will continue to buy Chinese products BUT only buy domestic brand names I trust when my life or others are in play...JMO.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
4,286
Location
Somewhere in the US
Quote:
Can anybody explain in laymans terms what a 'gum strip' is/does? CR, where are you?
I'm going to try to address more than just the "gum strip" in this post. I believe what they are referring to is a rubber insert between the edges of the belts. It is usually in the form of a flat strip that is layed under the edge of the top belt. The purpose of the "gum strip" is to provide more distance between the belt edges where the stresses in the tire are the highest. This distance spreads out the stresses over a larger area. Please note that this "gum strip" is not required, nor is it the only way to accomplish the task. It is just the most common way. Those folks who are referring to this as a "safety feature" - well, they are sadly ignorant of tire construction. Perhaps they are thinking of "cap strips" which are usually nylon strip(s) put OVER the belt edges to restrict circumferential growth at speed. These will improve the high speed performance (speed rating) and the more you put in, the higher the performance (speed rating). Cap strips might be called a "safety feature", but I think the concept is just wrong headed. It seems to imply that tires don't fail with "cap strips" - and that is just not true. I could go into a long discussion about speed ratings and how using more capable tires reduces the risk of tire failure, but I'll save that for another time. BTW, the situation being described in the press is similar to the issue with the Firestone tire recall that is mentioned in some of the news releases. The "gum strip" was squeezed by the tread pattern during the molding process, and because the one plant (I think it was the Decater, IL plant) used a different mixing method, the rubber compound was different and less durable. (I'm sure my rubber compounding collegues would have a much better explanation of what the differences were.) I should also point out that this is a matter of degree rather than kind. Any tire can fail. Underinflation is a chronic problem in the US. Plus damage caused by road debris can damage a tire in ways that are undetectable until just before failure. That's why it is important to regularly check your tires. Pressure, cuts, wear are all things that should be examined. Warning signs of impending failure are bulges, and vibrations - especially vibrations that are gradually getting worse over the course of several hundred miles. The problem is that misalignment can cause irregular tire wear and that leads to vibrations as well. Plus at lower speeds, these vibrations may be unnoticeable. But thanks for the "heads up" on this. I've passed this on to some folks that would want to monitor this situation. Your vigilance makes me look good!!
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
You get what you pay for. All those cheap tires take 'sales' away from good tires. Many consumers shop on price alone. Because of the massive flood of cheap from China/India..., companies that make quality products are struggling. When good companies are bankrupt, one day cheap will be your only choice. And, its not just tires. Electronic are disposable. Clothes barely survive a couple of washings. Low grade and low quality "everthing" is saturating the market. What makes you think anyone is going to pay for that tire recall? They'll just go bankrupt, rename themselves, change the product line a little bit, and sell another 450k cheap tires. I've seen this with various products and companies. Now, to pay for this, the US politicals need to tax the daylights out of cheap imported 'everthing' and use the tax to fund repairs, warranties, recalls, replacements......
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
4,286
Location
Somewhere in the US
As a followup: If the photo in this news article (http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/26/business/tires.php) is the actual tire involved in the law suit against FTS, then IMHO, this is an impact related failure - and not a result of the issue being discussed in the recall - the "gum strip". These types of failures can occur to any tire.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
565
Location
Columbus, OH
4 occupants. In a cargo van. So where were the two people who died sitting? Probably NOT in a seat or belted in. Cargo vans typically have two bucket seats up front, and mass amounts of heavy equipment in back that can cut, maim, and kill.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top