WASHINGTON (July 12) — The Chinese manufacturer of 450,000 tires subject to recall in the U.S. said it met with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration staff July 11, and declares its tires met or exceeded U.S. standards.
Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. said it will give NHTSA any information it needs to independently confirm the safety and reliability of the tires. After that review, if a recall is appropriate, the company said it will take all necessary action to ensure a recall is completed successfully and expeditiously.
The tire maker's action and statement comes a few days before New Jersey importer Foreign Tire Sales Inc. begins a recall campaign. On July 16 the firm will begin running ads in "USA Today," and send out press releases and videos to all national markets, as well as letters to individual consumers, notifying the public of the recall.
The Union, N.J.-based importer reported to NHTSA in June potential defects in the light truck tires. The company said the tires were made without or with insufficient gum strips between the belts to prevent belt.
In a Chinese-language letter on its Web site, Hangzhou Zhongce said it is in a business dispute with FTS, and after the importer sued the Chinese company, it contacted NHTSA about alleged quality defects in the tires.
"So we believe this is merely a commercial overhype initiated by FTS for the lawsuit purpose. Meanwhile, we will keep the right to claim compensation for the loss that FTS has brought to us," the company said.
Hangzhou Zhongce said it did not find the defect claimed by FTS. "We are certain about the reliability and quality of our products," the firm said.