WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal regulators are demanding that a New Jersey tire company, Foreign Tire Sales, recall as many as 450,000 tires imported from China. The product has been blamed for a van accident that resulted in two deaths last year, according to Associated Press reports. The accident led to a lawsuit.
The tires, manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. of Hangzhou, China, were sold in the U.S. as far back as 2001 under the brand names of Westlake, Telluride, Compass, and YKS. They were designed for use on pickup trucks, SUVs, and other light trucks.
Foreign Tire Sales has admitted that the tires are prone to tread separation and should not be in use. The tires are missing "gum strips," which help hold the tire layers together. However, the company has said it cannot afford a national recall that replaces the unsafe tires with new ones.
NHTSA has found that excuse unacceptable. "What we are saying very clearly to FTS is: If you chose to do business with a foreign company, you are responsible for making sure that the equipment meets our standards," NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason said.
Source: Automotive Fleet