Aug 10, 2007

American tire retailer announces recall of Chinese-made tires

Union, New Jersey – Foreign Tires Sales Inc. (FTS) of Union, New Jersey has announced a recall of about 255,000 Chinese-made tires that it imported into the United States. The tires were defective because they lacked a “gum strip” safety feature, or contained gum strips that were not large enough, FTS says.

The tires were sold from early 2004 to mid 2006 as replacement tires for SUVs, pickups and vans under the brand names Westlake, Compass and YKS. They were manufactured in China by the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company Ltd, designed and contracted by FTS. The tires were sold in the U.S. in 2002 and contained the gum strips, which help to protect against the tread or belt separating from the tire. FTS says that Hangzhou later changed the construction of the tires without informing the American importer.

Independent tests conducted by FTS in May 2007 determined that the tires without gum strips or with insufficient gum strips posed a safety hazard; the company then informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the defect.

FTS recommends that consumers check the sidewall of their tires for the brand, size, model and DOT number. The recall applies to Westlake, Compass and YKS brand tires with the following on their sidewalls:

Size Models Partial DOT number
LT235/75R15 CR861, CR857 7DT5FTS

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