Mexico drops plan for wheel standard
MEXICO CITY-The Mexican Ministry of Economy has quietly dropped a proposal to require a battery of quality and safety tests for all foreign-made wheels and rims entering the country.
The regulation essentially would have closed the Mexican market to imported wheels because of the redundancy and expense of the testing, said Linda Spencer, director of international and government relations for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
SEMA and the Mexican consumer protection group COFEMER fought a five-year battle to quash the proposal, Ms. Spencer said.
Calif. attorney files third class action
LOS ANGELES-For the third time, a Pasadena, Calif., plaintiffs' attorney has filed a class-action lawsuit against Bridgestone/Firestone seeking a court-ordered recall of millions of Firestone Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tires.
Claiming the tire's design is defective and unsafe, lawyer Joseph L. Lisoni filed the brief June 28 with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. He has twice failed to obtain certification of the class action before the California Superior Court in Indio, Calif.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no defect trend in the tires in three separate investigations-two of them instigated by Mr. Lisoni himself.
In response to the suit, BFS said the attorney is simply attempting to ``forum shop a claim that has already been rejected twice by another court.''
Goodyear selling adhesives resins biz
AKRON-Goodyear is selling its Wingtack adhesives resins business to Sartomer Co. Inc. for about $65 million.
The deal, which is subject to closing conditions and approvals, includes a plant in Beaumont, Texas. That facility is adjacent to Goodyear's synthetic rubber production facility, which will continue to supply raw materials for Wingtack production.
Exton, Pa.-based Sartomer is a unit of the French energy firm Total S.A.
``Adhesives resins are not core to our chemicals operation, which is increasingly focused on supplying our tire businesses with synthetic rubber,'' said Robert Keegan, Goodyear's chairman and CEO.
Cooper adds motorcycle line
ATHENS, Ga.-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s conversion of a retread materials plant in Athens to motorsports tire production will include capacity for high-performance motorcycle tires, the firm said recently.
Cooper disclosed last July plans to convert the plant, acquired in 1999 as part of its purchase of Standard Products Co., at a cost of $11 million over two years.
At that time the firm said initial output would focus on the Mickey Thompson DOT ET street radials and the DOT street-legal Avon Tech R radial, but also that the plant would be configured to make other racing products as needed to support the company's overall motorsports strategy.
That strategy now includes the Avon motorcycle line, now produced solely at the firm's Melksham, England, plant, according to Cooper's 2004 annual report. Production could start later this year or early in 2006.
Commercial scale production at the plant, beginning with the Mickey Thompson line, should begin in the third quarter, a spokeswoman said.