The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has
ordered a U.S. tire importer to recall as many as 450,000 tires sold
under at least four brand names that it bought from a Chinese
manufacturer and sold to U.S. distributors. Foreign Tire Sales (FTS) of
Union, New Jersey, said tires it imported from China’s Hangzhou Zhongce
Rubber Company may suffer from sudden tread separation failures.
NHTSA officials have ordered the company to recall as many as
450,000 tires. FTS said an unknown number of the light-truck radial
tires it imported since 2002 from China were made without a safety
feature, called a gum strip, which helps bind the belts of a tire to
each other. The tires were sold under at least four brand names —
Westlake, Compass, Telluride and YKS — in sizes LT235/75R-15;
LT225/75R-16; LT235/85R-16; LT245/75R-16; LT265/75R-16; and LT31x10.5-15
— sizes popular with trailerists, and SUV and pickup owners.
FTS 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.
FTS claims it does not have the money to pay for a recall, and no
arrangements are in place yet for replacement tires, but consumers
should contact the stores they bought them from for further information.