Kumho seeks to recover recalled tires (updated)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 7, 2013) — Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. has reissued and expanded a recall notice from last summer, covering nearly 12,000 Kumho Solus KH25 passenger tires, to try and recover 2,310 of the recalled tires that were resold by a third party vendor as used tires.
Kumho originally recalled a smaller batch of the tires, in size 225/45R17, last August because of possible sidewall cracking that could result in air loss. At that time, Kumho said the recall was limited to 1,238 units, of which only 122 had been sold to consumers. The rest were said at that time to be in Kumho's warehouses.
In the reissued recall notice, Kumho said it determined at that time that the total number of tires that had the possible defect was 40,769.
The tires now being sought are part of a batch of 11,922 tires that were rendered unusable — by drilling three holes through the tread surface — and then sent to Liberty Tire Recycling L.L.C. for disposal.
Instead, Liberty sold 7,875 of the tires to wholesalers in Texas, New York, North Carolina and Puerto Rico as "used tires." according to an April 30 letter sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by C.H. Kim, Kumho vice president of quality and service.
Since it's conceivable that someone might try to repair these tires and resell them, Kumho said it decided to reissue and expand the recall to recover all the tires before that could happen. Any such repair likely would not adhere to specific Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for tire repairs, Kumho said, which could result in rapid air loss while the vehicle is in use and result in a tire failure that could cause a crash.
Kumho said it will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected tires in accordance with the dealer notification letter. The safety recall began on May 6, 2013. Owners may contact Kumho at 909-428-3358.
The tires in question were made at Kumho's plant in Ben Cat, Binh Duong, Vietnam — U.S. Department of Transportation code K2 — during a 10-month period from Aug. 21, 2011, through June 23, 2012 (weeks 3411 through 2512), Kumho said.
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