Banner: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
  Home | Protecting Consumers | Safeguarding Children | Seniors | Law Enforcement | Site Map Search
 
For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Warns Consumers
About Potentially Hazardous Tires

BALTIMORE, MD (August 2, 2007) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is warning consumers about potentially dangerous tires that may have been sold to Maryland drivers and could create a potential safety hazard for those riding in light trucks, sports utility vehicles, and vans equipped with the tires. The tires were manufactured by the Chinese tire company, Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co., and imported into the United States by Foreign Tire Sales, Inc. (FTS) of Union, New Jersey. The affected tires may be susceptible to tread separation, which can cause serious accidents.

“The potential for harm is great for consumers who may have purchased these tires,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Consumers who believe they own the affected tires should have them inspected by their tire dealer as soon as possible and contact our office.”

The potentially dangerous tires were sold from 2002 to 2006 and were distributed in the United States under the names Westlake, Compass, and YKS. Consumers should check the sidewalls of their tires for the brand name, size, model, and DOT number. Specific tire numbers and sizes affected by this inquiry are as follows:
Size Model #

  • LT235/75R-15 CR861 CR857
  • LT245/75R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
  • LT225/75R-16 CR861
  • LT265/75R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
  • LT235/85R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
  • LT31X10.5R-15 CR861 CR857

    Look for these numbers, brand name, and model on the tire sidewall as indicated on the diagram. Also, look for the DOT number in the smaller print toward the center of the tire. If the DOT serial number starts with “7D”and has “FTS” as part of the number, it may be subject to a future recall.

Consumers who purchased any of the tires described above, should contact the dealer where they bought the tires. If that dealer is located more than 50 miles away, they should contact another tire dealer and ask them to inspect the tires.

Consumers who have the specified tires should also contact Attorney General Gansler’s Consumer Protection Division at (888) 743-0023 toll free or at (410) 528-8662. Consumers should also contact the Division if a tire dealer is unwilling to replace the specified tires.

At this time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not formally ordered a recall of any of these tires, and no replacement tire program has been instituted. However, according to filings submitted to NHTSA, a recall program by FTS is being developed and is being reviewed by NHTSA. An official recall of at least some of these tires may begin in early August. Consumers may visit FTS’ web site at www.foreigntire.com to register affected tires and obtain information related to a recall. The dealer where they purchased the tires also should have information available shortly. Consumers also can visit the NHTSA Web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov for more information.

As part of general tire safety, Attorney General Gansler wants to remind consumers to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Inspect tires for patterns of uneven wear at least once a month and before every long trip. Check tire inflation pressure in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.
  • Be aware of how the outside temperature affects tires. Hot weather can be especially
    hard on tires, causing them to expand. As the outside temperature drops 10 degrees, tire pressure drops about one or two pounds per square inch.
  • Do not overload the vehicle. Excess weight can place extra stress on tires. Check the tire placard or vehicle owner’s manual for the maximum amount of weight the vehicle can safely carry.
  • Rotate tires regularly, get wheels balanced, and get a front-end alignment as necessary.
  • Use the proper tires for the vehicle. Check the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations
    before replacing a tire with a different size and/or construction.
  • Be wary of buying used tires. It is possible that some used tire dealers may try to
    capitalize on this situation by re-selling tires subject to this inquiry that have been
    replaced and are supposed to be destroyed. Though unethical and hazardous, it has
    happened before. Check used tire numbers, and do not buy any that are specified in this
    inquiry.
   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
Home | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us