California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. is advising consumers to inspect certain car tires manufactured from 2002 to 2006 for possible dangerous damage. The tires were made by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. in China and distributed in the United States under the names: Westlake, Compass, YKS, Vesta, Goodride, Milestone and Telluride.
In June, tire distributor Foreign Tire Sales Inc. (FTS) filed a report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating that certain tires may not meet minimum specifications and may be unsafe. About 450,000 of these tires were imported into the United States and sold by many hundreds of tire dealers, including many dealers in California. As many as 270,000 of these tires may have insufficient or missing “gum strips,” an important part of a tire related to the prevention of thread separation.
“As a measure of good caution, consumers should check their car tires for signs of thread separation or possible damage and standby for a recall in the future,” Attorney General Brown said.
If an inspection indicates that a tire may be unsafe, consumers can contact Attorney General Brown’s Public Inquiry Unit at 800-952-5225. Although at this time, NHTSA has not called for a recall of any of these tires, an official recall of at least some of these tires may occur as early as this month.
Because of the seriousness of tire separation, Attorney General Brown is urging consumers who to have the tires with the following sizes to have them checked by their tire dealer:
LT225/75R-16 CR 861
LT235/75R-15 CR861 CR857
LT235/85-16 CR 860 CR861 CF857
LT245/75R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
LT265/75R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
LT310X10.5-15 CR861 CR857
The DOT number, brand name, size, and model are found on the tire sidewall. Affected tires also will contain a tire size starting with “LT,” as well as a DOT number that starts with “7D” and ends in either “02,” “03,” “04,” or “05.” Further information can be obtained from FTS’s web site at www.foreigntire.com.
In the interest of public safety, the Attorney General is asking tire dealers not to charge for such an inspection, but since no recall notice has yet been implemented, dealers are not required to inspect the tires without charge. Consumers should not drive their vehicles for long distances on hot roads until they are checked and it is recommended not to overload vehicles.
Consumers who have accidents as a result of one of these tires, should contact the Attorney General’s Public Inquiry Unit and file a report with the NHTSA by calling the Vehicle Safety Hotline Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236 TTY: 1-800-424-9153.
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