Published on March 4, 2013

2 tire makers contest NHTSA recall of tires

WASHINGTON—Michelin North America Inc. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. have petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for decisions of inconsequential noncompliance.

Both tire makers manufactured small batches of tires that do not comply with NHTSA tire safety regulations.

The tire makers argue the noncompliance issues are not severe enough to mandate a full-fledged public recall. If NHTSA denies their requests, they will have to initiate tire recalls.

Michelin manufactured about 1,300 BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp2 tires, size 205/45ZR17 88W, between June 12, 2011, and April 21, 2012. The sidewall markings on the opposite side of the full Department of Transportation (DOT) tire identification numbers on the tires lack the “Extra Load” markings required by NHTSA standards, Michelin said.

The error is inconsequential as to safety, according to Michelin, because the tire complies with all other federal performance standards and all its other markings are correct.

Corporacion de Occidente S.A. de C.V., Cooper's Mexican affiliate, made about 1,080 El Dorado Legend GT tires, size P225/70R14, between May 20 and June 16, 2012, Cooper said.

The tires have a mold labeling error, omitting the nylon plies in the tread areas, Cooper said. Because the tires have more tread plies than stated, and meet all other NHTSA performance requirements, the error should be designated as inconsequential, the tire maker told the agency.

NHTSA published notices of both petitions in the Feb. 11 Federal Register.

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