WASHINGTON (Jan. 10) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has denied the inconsequential noncompliance petition of Union, N.J.-based Foreign Tire Sales Inc. regarding mismarked Chinese container chassis tires.
Foreign Tire Sales held that the lack of the NHTSA-required single-load carrying designation on the 18,900 bias-ply tires would have no safety implications, particularly since the tires were marked "DUAL USE ONLY" and "TRAILER SERVICE ONLY."
However, NHTSA ruled that the tires could still be mounted improperly on the drive or steer axles of truck tractors.
The ruling means that Foreign Tire Sales has one more appeal to NHTSA; if that fails, it will have to recall the tires. Flexi-Van Inc., a major lessor of intermodal container chassis, said that having to replace the Chinese tires it had purchased would constitute a major burden.
But the Rubber Manufacturers Association told NHTSA that it should not grant an inconsequential noncompliance finding in this case. Foreign Tire Sales had neither shown that the Chinese tires met basic U.S. endurance and strength standards nor filed a timely noncompliance report under the law, the RMA said.