OTTAWA (June 29) — Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is investigating radial light truck tires manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd., the agency said.
The tires, sold in the U.S. under the Westlake, Telluride, Compass and YKS brand names, are the subject of a recall order in the U.S.
Transport Canada has purchased Hangzhou tires from Canadian distributors and will test them for possible defects, an agency spokeswoman said. The agency also is trying to uncover all Canadian importers of the tires, she said.
Aziz Rakla, president of Rakla Tires Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario, one importer of the tires, said he learned about the U.S. recall from his brother in the U.S. While Rakla said he was studying the matter closely, he´d had no reason to question the tires´ quality until now.
"We back our tires completely," he said. "We´ve received zero complaints, and our customers tell us the tires perform as well as the big brand names."
Transport Canada has no power to order a recall, the agency spokeswoman said, but it can order the manufacturers or importers to issue a Notice of Defect. If they refuse, the matter goes to the Canadian Department of Justice.
"The onus is on a manufacturer or importer to inform Transport Canada as well as dealers and owners, but there is no obligation on the company to replace or to compensate," she said.