GREENVILLE, S.C. (July 1, 2002) — Michelin North America Inc. is providing no-charge replacements for selected sizes of Phantom A/P brand tires—produced for and sold by Arizona's Discount Tire Co.—in 66 U.S. cities, primarily in the Southwest.
Pointing out that it's a precautionary move but not a recall, a Michelin spokeswoman said owners of the tire brand, purchased between January 1997 and December 1999, have been contacted by letter and newspaper ads offering the tire replacements.
Approximately 192,000 Phantom A/P brand tires were sold, she said, and about 30,000 are still in service. In a prepared statement, the company said "only a fraction of the number may be affected by the extreme use and environmental conditions that can cause them to come out of service before the usable tread is worn."
The tires were sold exclusively at Discount Tire Co./America's Tire Co. stores in the Southwest. The Phantom replacement program—in place only at Discount Tire-owned stores—is targeted for completion by July 16, the spokeswoman said. But in reality, she added, "it's a loose date because if someone came in with a Phantom seeking a replacement" a little later, the company would honor the request.
The replacement program was launched after "it came to our attention that some of the tires were coming out of service because of extreme use problems," such as over-loading and under-inflation, coupled with rough terrain and consistently high temperatures, the spokeswoman said.
Newspaper ads were placed in the cities involved, she said, "and in those cities where records existed, a letter was sent to the purchasers offering to replace their tires at no charge and explaining why."
The Phantom tires are not defective "and meet or exceed all DOT specifications,” the company said, noting, "there have been no reported injuries with these tires.´
Calling the program a "consumer satisfaction campaign," Michelin said it is "purely precautionary and the replacements are being offered at no charge in an effort to off-set any inconvenience to consumers."
A relatively small number of tires are actually involved, the spokeswoman said, "but we decided to replace all of the (Phantom) tires" purchased in the 66 Southwest cities from 1997 through 1999.
Tires involved are LT 245/75R16 Phantom A/P Load Range E; LT 235/85R16 Phantom A/P Load Range E; P 235/75R15 Phantom A/P Standard Load; and P 235/75R15 Phantom Extra Load.