RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (March 23, 2011)—Kumho Tire Co. Inc. said it has investigated production methods at its Tianjin plant in China and is taking action in the aftermath of media reports on problems with its passenger tires made at the site.
On March 15 China's National Television Network reported on the use of so-called “rework rubber” in Kumho's Tianjin factory and claims that the tire maker used more recycled rubber from semi-finished tires than allowed under its own guidelines at the north China plant to save costs, which could lead to lower performance and safety issues, according to some reports.
Kumho said the use of the rework rubber process is common to all tire manufacturing companies where a combination of rework and original rubber is used according to scientific production standards. The use of rework rubber is not related to safety, Kumho said.
The South Korean tire maker said its head of Research and Quality Control visited the Tianjin factory and conducted a thorough internal investigation of the production process. “This fact-finding mission found that the strict internal production standards may not have been observed at the site,” Kumho said.
The tire company said “it would discharge employees involved in a lack of adherence to internal standards and will deal with all product-related claims from consumers in China.”