GM replaces Eagle RSAs
DETROIT-General Motors Corp. is voluntarily replacing 88,000 17-inch Goodyear Eagle RSA tires that were optional equipment on 22,000 Cadillac CTS four-door passenger cars, model years 2003 and 2004.
The problem, a GM spokesman said, was cracking on the inner sidewall that was "purely cosmetic and has nothing to do with performance or handling."
A Goodyear spokesman said it was cooperating with GM on the consumer satisfaction program and is replacing the tires with 17-inch Eagle RSAs that were specially engineered for the Cadillac CTS.
Conti announces tire price hike
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) will raise prices on all Continental, General and private brand passenger and light truck tires by 3 to 6 percent, effective Feb. 1.
The company said the exact increase will vary by line and/or size. The increase, the second in eight months, is necessary to offset rising raw material and other costs, the firm said.
CTNA last raised U.S. replacement market prices July 1, boosting them by up to 5 percent on Continental and General brands.
In addition, Conti raised prices Dec. 1 by 3-5 percent on its Continental, General, Semperit and private brand medium and heavy radial truck and off-the-road tires.
Goodyear changes insurance policy
AKRON-Goodyear has asked that spouses of its employees switch to their own employer's health insurance if it is provided in a move to trim some costs, a spokesman said.
The policy would not apply to spouses who either don't work or don't receive benefits from another employer, he added. Goodyear may offset some of the costs if the other coverage is more expensive, the spokesman said. Children still can be carried on Goodyear's insurance.
The tire maker does not yet know how much money will be saved by the move or how many people will be affected by the move. Goodyear said other companies also are enacting similar policies.
CR article looks at plus-sizing
YONKERS, N.Y.-Consumer Re-ports (CR) magazine has published in its January 2004 issue a primer on plus-sizing tires and wheels.
The two-page article looks at the pros and cons of plus-sizing, with a separate look at the special risks for sport-utility vehicle owners.
In general, the authors state that Plus-One sizing-moving to a lower profile tire/wheel combination one inch larger in wheel diameter-offers the most performance gain with the fewest sacrifices.
Among the cons in going to extreme fitments: loss of ride comfort, hyroplaning resistance and snow traction; and increased danger of wheel damage from potholes.
Owners of SUVs and pickups face the additional risk that such vehicles may become more susceptible to rollover with plus-sized tires because the added grip of wider tires may upset the vehicles' balance in extreme maneuvers.
Extreme fitment changes (Plus Four or more) also usually involve additional unsprung weight, putting strain on brakes, wheel bearings and suspension parts, CR said in the article.
Goodyear fights document release
MIAMI-Goodyear may seek contempt citations against plaintiffs' attorneys in a Miami product liability case if they release Goodyear design documents to the public, even though a state appeals court gave the lawyers permission to do so.
The tire maker said it will file for a rehearing of the decision in Florida's 3rd District Court of Appeal that reinstated a $1.8 million jury verdict. Set aside by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge, it also allowed the dissemination of design secrets gathered by the plaintiffs that Goodyear claims are proprietary information.
"There absolutely are trade secrets in those papers," a Goodyear spokesman said. "We ask that they be sealed to keep them from falling into the hands of our competitors." The appeals court gave Goodyear until Dec. 15 to file for a rehearing, but the spokesman said the company has asked for an extension.
Michelin to raise OE tire prices
GREENVILLE, S.C.-Michelin North America Inc.'s Michelin Automotive Industry Division said it will raise prices on original equipment passenger and light truck tires sold in North America in the first quarter.
The division did not outline percentage increases for the hikes. The company said the "significant escalation" of raw materials costs necessitated the increase.