CAMDEN, N.J. (Nov. 8, 2007) — Chinese tire maker Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. has asked a federal district court in Camden to dismiss a pending class action alleging that some Hangzhou-manufactured light truck tires are defective.
The company´s motion said Hangzhou Zhongce doesn´t operate, own assets or sell tires in New Jersey, and shouldn´t be a defendant in the case.
The class action stems from an August 2006 accident in Pennsylvania. One man was killed and another suffered permanent brain damage when their van rolled over, an accident Killino blames on an allegedly faulty Hangzhou Zhongce-made tire.
The Chinese-made tire was the subject of a recall after Union, N.J.-based Foreign Tire Sales Inc., which imported the tires, told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that some of them lacked sufficient gum strips for proper belt adhesion.
Ultimately, the recall covered 255,000 of the light-truck tires, but when it ended on Oct. 25 only about 7,000 were recovered.
The class action names FTS, Hangzhou Zhongce and several distributors FTS said may have imported some of the recalled tires. However, the other distributors told NHTSA they never imported Hangzhou Zhongce tires or the particular ones in question.
Killino blasted the Chinese company in a Nov. 6 news release. "China, acting through its government-owned tire factory Hangzhou Zhongce, is thumbing its nose at U.S. courts by arguing that U.S. courts lack jurisdiction to hear the claims," he said.
Mark Gately, a Washington attorney for the firm of Hogan & Hartson which represents Hangzhou Zhongce, wouldn´t comment on Killino´s allegations.