WASHINGTON (Oct. 1, 2008) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded its investigation of Chinese-made snap-in tire valve stems, indicating it believes there is considerable evidence justifying a more in-depth analysis.
NHTSA began the investigation May 15 on up to 30 million TR400 Series snap-in valve stems made by Topseal, a subsidiary of Shanghai Baolong Industries Co. Ltd. in Shanghai. Two weeks before that, agency officials met with executives of Oxford, N.C.-based Dill Air Controls Products L.L.C., a U.S. distributor of the valve stems, to discuss whether the rubber portion of the valve stems might crack and cause tire air loss.
Dill has since posted a consumer advisory about potential valve stem problems on its Web site, and also hired an independent laboratory to identify the defective lots among the 30 million.
Another distributor, Johnstown, Ohio-based Tech International Inc., has voluntarily recalled 6 million of the Topseal stems.