The Office of the Attorney General is urging Texas drivers to check their vehicles for potentially dangerous tires. The tires were sold from 2002 to 2006 for light trucks, sports utility vehicles, and vans, and could be in danger of tread separation. The tires were made by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. ("HZ") in China and distributed in the United States under several names, including Westlake, YKS and Compass.
According to Foreign Tire Sales, Inc. (FTS), - 1 - the U.S. distributor, at least 270,000 tires may have insufficient or missing "gum strips," an important safety feature on certain tires that helps prevent tread separation. More than 50,000 of the potentially unsafe tires are believed to have been sold in Texas.
If you have any of these tires, immediately contact the dealer where you bought them. If the dealer is more than 50 miles away, ask the closest tire shop or mechanic to inspect your tires. In the interest of public safety, the Office of the Attorney General is asking tire dealers not to charge for such an inspection. Consumers who purchased these tires should not drive for long distances on hot roads and should avoid overloading their vehicles.
If an inspection indicates that the tires may be unsafe, consumers should immediately file an online complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us or call (800) 252-8011 to receive a form by mail. Consumers can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at (800) 327-4236 and FTS at www.foreigntire.com.
Consumers should check the sidewalls of their tires for the brand name, size, model, and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number. If the DOT number contains "FTS" as part of the number, the tire may be subject to a recall in the future.
Specific tire sizes and models affected:
At this time, NHTSA has not ordered a recall of any of these tires and no replacement program has been instituted. However, consumers should regularly check the NHTSA, FTS and Attorney General's Web sites for updates.
As part of general tire safety, consumers should keep the following tips in mind: