BFS launches 'safety campaign'
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone is initiating what it's calling a ``voluntary safety campaign'' in the U.S. to replace approximately 25,600 Bridgestone Dueler A/T tires.
The tires-size LT285/75R16 load range D-were made in Japan by Bridgestone Corp., BFS's parent, and imported into the U.S. for sale in the replacement market primarily by the company's independent dealers and company-owned retail outlets.
In a related action, BFS said Bridgestone/Firestone Canada Inc. intends to replace about 1,400 of these tires in the Canadian replacement market that were sold through its network of independent dealers.
BFS said recently reviewed data indicate a small percentage of the tires may experience belt detachment, especially if they have been operated below recommended inflation pressures for the load carried by the tire or above recommended loads. It said ``a belt detachment of this kind can, in rare instances, lead to a loss of control of a vehicle and a possible crash.''
The performance of the Dueler A/T tires in question differs from other Dueler tires, the company said, including those of the same size and type that were made after July 31, 2002, ``which continue to perform well in the field.''
The company said U.S. consumers can receive free replacement tires through any BFS company-owned stores. Canadian consumers should contact an authorized participating Bridgestone retailer for replacement.
RMA predicts shipment growth
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Tread rubber shipments this year are expected to grow 3.1 percent from last year, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) said.
The 2004 shipments will produce about 16.8 million retreaded tires in the U.S., the association said.
The RMA cited an overall healthy economy and a revitalized manufacturing sector in its estimates. With help from positive freight trends, the growth is expected to continue though 2006 at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, it said.
Calif. manifest rule changed
SACRAMENTO-The California Integrated Waste Management Board has completed all necessary protocol to change a manifest rule it imposed on retreaders last year.
California retreaders will be receiving a letter with instructions regarding self-certification forms from the CIWMB within the next few weeks, according to Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau.
The board's changes to the rule means retreaders can document the transport of used tires with a single trip log and invoice instead of multiple forms for each pickup and delivery. Prior to this, retreaders transporting 10 or more used tires needed to document each pickup and delivery on the manifest forms or face fines of up to $25,000.
Man gets life for double murder
PONTIAC, Mich.-A 31-year-old man was sentenced Aug. 11 to life without the possibility of parole for the double murder in 2003 of a tire store owner and an employee.
Bobby Smith of Pontiac was convicted in late July of two counts of first-degree murder and other charges. The life sentence was mandatory. He also was ordered to pay restitution to the families for funeral costs.
Mr. Smith killed City Tire Co. owner Richard Cummings, 57, and employee Stephen Putman, 33, on Jan. 7, 2003, in Pontiac.
Assistant Prosecutor Ken Frazee said Mr. Smith shot Mr. Putman in the head execution-style. When Mr. Cummings tried to stop him, Mr. Smith shot him twice in the head before stealing $600 from his pocket and an undetermined amount from the cash register.
Del-Nat secures $50 million loan
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Del-Nat Tire Corp. has received a $50 million senior secured credit facility from Bank of America Business Capital to refinance existing debt and provide for working capital needs.
Bank of America also will provide letters of credit and cash management products in addition to the asset-based loan, the bank said.
``The asset-based loan provides us with a stable financial platform to better serve our members and allows us to take full advantage of the assets in our business to generate more profitability,'' said Dan Hunter, Del-Nat president.
Titan wins two military contracts
QUINCY, Ill.-Titan Tire Corp., a subsidiary of Titan International Inc., has received two multi-year contracts to supply tires for trucks used by the U.S. Army.
The contracts have an estimated value of $40 million and were awarded by TACOM (Tank Automotive Command). They cover anticipated requirements for the next five years for tires primarily used on 2.5-ton and 5-ton military trucks.