WASHINGTON (Sept. 20) — The recall of 255,000 Chinese light truck tires caused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to think seriously about the rules surrounding safety recalls, said NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason in a speech before the Washington Automotive Press Association.
"This was a real fire drill," Nason said. "Before this, we hadn't had people come in and say, 'We need to recall these tires, but we can't pay for it.' "
Union, N.J.-based Foreign Tire Sales Inc., the manufacturer of record for the tires it imported from Chinese tire maker Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd., originally told NHTSA it couldn't afford to pay for the recall.
Later, information Hangzhou sent to NHTSA allowed the agency and FTS to narrow down the recall considerably. The difficulty in getting that information, however, led to NHTSA's signing an agreement with China for cooperation in preventing the importation of defective auto parts, Nason said.