Nokian recalls Cooper-made tires
WASHINGTONIn the latest in a string of recalls of size 245/70R17 tires made by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for various companies and private branders, Nokian Tyres Inc. has recalled 460 Nokian Vatiiva H/T tires manufactured between Nov. 29 and Dec. 12, 2009.
As with the tires in previous recalls, the Nokian tires may develop tread chunking or cracking in the tread shoulder area, causing either vehicle damage or loss of control if tread chunks separate from the casing.
Nokian said it began the recall March 8. Owners of the tires may call either Cooper customer relations toll-free at 800-854-6288 or Nokian Tyres consumer relations toll-free at 800-565-2525.
La. dealers seek repeal of rule
BATON ROUGE, La.The head of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association (LADA) expects a rule requiring auto and tire dealers to become licensed insurance agents in order to sell tire-and-wheel road hazard coverage to be repealed this spring.
It's kind of a non-issue, said Bob Israel, LADA executive director, about the December 2009 directive from the office of Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.
Several years ago, the Department of Insurance asked auto and tire dealers offering tire-and-wheel road hazard coverage to send copies of their agreements to the department, according to Mr. Israel. But, in reviewing the documents, department officials concluded late last year such coverage was less a warranty and more an insurance contract.
LADA appealed the department's directive to Louisiana's 19th Judicial District Court, which granted a stay Feb. 18.
The Louisiana Legislature goes into session the last week of March and adjourns in mid-June, according to Mr. Israel.
TIA council adds Brian Hesje
BOWIE, Md.The new Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) of the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has added Brian Hesje, board chairman of Fountain Tire Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta.
He replaces Jim Pangle, also of Fountain Tire, on the EAC committee, which will hold its first meeting March 31, at TIA's headquarters in Bowie.
Mr. Hesje is a past CEO of Fountain Tire who also serves on the board of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority. Fountain Tire, one of Canada's largest tire retail chains, operates 140 stores from Ontario to British Columbia.
TIA President Wayne Croswell said Mr. Hesje's impressive history in the tire industryand, specifically, the retail tire sectorhas given him a unique insight into the issues facing tire recycling. He is a leader in Canadian tire recycling, and TIA is indeed fortunate to be able to add him to our impressive roster of Environmental Advisory Committee members.
Cooper to boost JV ownership
FINDLAY, OhioCooper Tire & Rubber Co. has received final approval from the People's Republic of China to increase its ownership in its Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd. joint venture in China to 65 percent.
Chengshan recently notified Findlay-based Cooper Tire it is exercising a put option on a 14-percent stake in the companies' joint venture. Chengshan's share will drop to 35 percent following the change.
Cooper has budgeted $17.9 million for the stake and anticipates making the transaction during the first quarter.
Chengshan first notified Cooper in July 2009 it was considering this option.
In connection with its acquisition of Cooper Chengshan in 2006, Cooper accepted a put option that obligates it to buy from Chengshan its minority holding anytime from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2011. The tire maker declined to comment on Chengshan's reasons for exercising its put at this time.
Cooper has budgeted a minimum of $62.7 million for the entire 49-percent share, according to its latest 10-K filing.
Cooper Chengshan operates a factory in Chengshan with 9 million units of annual capacity for passenger, light truck and medium truck tires.
Suh to keynote Tire Society
AKRONHankook Tire Co. Ltd. Vice Chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh will be the keynote speaker at this year's Tire Society Conference on Tire Science and Technology, scheduled for Sept. 20-21 in Akron.
The 2010 meeting, the group's 29th annual gathering also will feature a plenary lecture by Yukio Nakajima, Bridgestone Corp.'s Tire Research Division director, and a banquet after-dinner speech by David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. Mr. Suh's topic was not disclosed.
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