UNION, N.J. — Foreign Tire Sales Inc. on Aug. 9 began its recall of 255,000 Chinese-made radial tires that it imported into the U.S.-nearly half the number originally anticipated.
The tires are defective because they lack a gum strip or have gum strips that are not large enough, FTS said. The Union-based importer notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the defective tires, and the agency in June ordered 450,000 light truck tires to be recalled. In July FTS reduced that number to about 250,000 on information from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd., which manufactured the tires.
The tires were sold from early 2004 to mid-2006 as replacement tires for sport-utility vehicles, pickups and vans under the brand names Westlake, Compass and YKS.
"Consumers should know that the affected tires meet all federal motor vehicle safety standards," said FTS President Richard Kuskin. "But we went the extra mile by testing them and determining that they did not meet our standards, which are more rigorous."
The recall applies to tires with the following markings on their sidewall:
—Size: LT235/75R15; Model: CR861, CR857; Partial DOT number: 7DT5FTS;
—Size: LT235/85R16; Model: CR860, CR861, CR857; Partial DOT number: 7DT2FTS;
—Size: LT245/75R16; Model: CR860, CR861, CR857; Partial DOT number: 7DT3FTS;
—Size: LT265/75R16; Model: CR860, CR861, CR857; Partial DOT number: 7DT4FTS; and
—Size: LT31X10.5 R15; Model: CR857, CR861; Partial DOT number: 7DT6FTS.
Consumers whose tires are affected by the recall should call 888-899-9293 or visit www.foreigntire.com.
Hangzhou Zhongce has disputed claims that the tires are unsafe.
"HZR tires have performed exceptionally well on the roads of the United States," the manufacturer said in an Aug. 3 statement. "Many other tire distributors have stepped forward to extol the quality and durability of HZR tires. The experience of HZR tires in the United States, and throughout the world, reflects its sound commitment to robust engineering, design and production."
The company further said it continues "to provide NHTSA with information needed to make a more accurate assessment about the quality and safety of the tires."