HARTFORD, Conn. (June 27) — Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has announced an investigation into the distribution and sale of recalled Chinese light truck tires manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. and warned tire dealers against selling them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered the recall of 450,000 of these tires, but Union, N.J.-based Foreign Tire Sales Inc. — importer of the tires and the manufacturer of record in case of a recall — told NHTSA it doesn´t have the money to pay for one.
FTS is suing Hangzhou Zhongce in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
In a statement, Blumenthal said he has begun contacting other states for a possible joint action on the tires.
He also warned Connecticut tire dealers against continuing to sell the tires, saying they could face stiff state penalties and liability for any accidents arising from the tires´ failure.
FTS told NHTSA that the tires — bearing the brand names Westlake, Telluride, Compass and YKS — lack gum strips between steel belts, making them prone to belt and tread separation.