Michelin North America Inc. is replacing as many as 30,000 private brand passenger and light truck radials it made for Arizona's Discount Tire Co., although it said the tires aren't defective and the action isn't a recall.
The tire maker is providing no-charge replacements for selected sizes of Phantom A/P brand tires-produced for and sold by Discount-in 66 U.S. cities, primarily in the Southwest. A Michelin spokeswoman said about 192,000 of the tires were sold and about 30,000 are still in service.
In a news release, 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 Michelin spokeswoman said owners of the tires-purchased between January 1997 and December 1999-have been contacted by letter, and the company has placed newspaper ads offering the replacements. She called the action a precautionary move, and not a recall.
The Phantom tires aren't defective and meet or exceed all Department of Transportation specifications, the company said, adding: ``There have been no reported injuries with these tires.''
The tires were sold exclusively at Discount Tire Co./America's Tire Co. stores, and the replacement program is in place only at Discount Tire stores, the spokeswoman said.
The target date for completing the program is July 16, she said, although if a customer brings in a Phantom seeking a replacement a little later, the company will honor the request.
The ``consumer satisfaction campaign,'' as Michelin calls it, was initiated after ``it came to our attention that some of the tires were coming out of service because of extreme use problems,'' such as overloading and underinflation, coupled with rough terrain and consistently high temperatures, the spokeswoman said. The action is purely precautionary, and ``the replacements are being offered at no charge in an effort to offset any inconvenience to consumers.''
Tires involved are LT 245/75R16 Phantom A/P Load Range E, LT 235/85R16 Phantom A/P Load Range E, P235/75R15 Phantom A/P Standard Load and P235/75R15 Phantom Extra Load.
Michelin declined to disclose the cost of the replacement program.