WASHINGTON—A Brownsville, Texas-based trial lawyer has written the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, asking the agency to open a formal investigation of Chinese-made tires sold in the U.S. by Hercules Tire & Rubber Co.
The Hercules tires share a common green designation with the 95,000 Capitol Precision Trac II tires recalled Oct. 20, 2014 by ITG Voma Corp., according to the Dec. 17 letter to NHTSA by Michael Cowen of the Cowen Law Group. Some of the Hercules tires, as well as the Capitol Precision Trac II, are manufactured in China by Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co. Ltd., he said.
Bowen represents Krystal Cantu, a woman who lost her left arm in an accident involving a Capitol Precision Trac II tire on Aug. 2, 2013. Cantu, who was 24 at the time of the accident, was a passenger in a 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac traveling down Interstate 37 in Atascosa County, Texas. The Capitol Precision tire on the left rear axle separated, causing the vehicle to crash.
In February 2013, Hercules recalled seven different sizes of Hercules LT Load Range E tires manufactured by Shandong Yongsheng from the Chinese company's design, Cowen said.
Cowen also cited the June 2007 recall of tires manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. and distributed by Foreign Tire Sales Inc. as a precedent for NHTSA to investigate tires manufactured overseas and sold in the U.S.
“The agency must act swiftly to ensure that tires that are essentially the same as the recalled Capitol Precision Trac II models are removed from service before another individual is seriously injured or killed in a tire-related crash,” Cowen wrote.