WASHINGTON (July 13, 2007)— The Chinese manufacturer of 450,000 light truck radials subject to recall in the U.S. claims the tires in question met or exceeded U.S. standards and told National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials it would “take all necessary action to ensure a recall” if the tires are shown to be defective.
Officials of Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. of Hangzhou, China, met with NHTSA staff July 11 and pledged to give NHTSA any information it needs to independently confirm the safety and reliability of the tires, sold in the U.S. under the Compass, Telluride, Westlake and YKS brand names.
The tire maker's action and statement comes a few days before Union, N.J., importer Foreign Tire Sales Inc. (FTS) begins a recall campaign. On July 16 the firm will begin running ads in “USA Today” and send out press releases and videos to all national markets, as well as letters to individual consumers, notifying the public of the recall.
FTS reported to NHTSA in June potential defects in the light truck tires. The company said the tires were made without or with insufficient gum strips between the belts to prevent belt separation.
In a Chinese-language letter on its Web site, Hangzhou Zhongce said it is in a “business dispute” with FTS, and after the importer sued the Chinese company, it contacted NHTSA about alleged quality defects in the tires.
“So we believe this is merely a commercial overhype initiated by FTS for the lawsuit purpose. Meanwhile, we will keep the right to claim compensation for the loss that FTS has brought to us,” the company said.
Hangzhou Zhongce said it did not find the defect claimed by FTS. “We are certain about the reliability and quality of our products,” the firm said.