HILTON HEAD, S.C.—Consumer Reports, the nation's largest independent consumer publication, annually buys tires at random to test and rate for its readers.
But last year, strictly at random, Consumer Reports uncovered a flagrant case of tire counterfeiting, the publication's tire program manager told attendees of the 31st annual Clemson University Global Tire Industry Conference.
“We didn't say, "Let's go out and find some counterfeit tires,' “ Eugene Peterson said in his presentation at the conference, held April 15-17 at Hilton Head, S.C. “We said, "Let's test some tires,' and one of those tires just happened to be counterfeit.”
Each year Consumer Reports rates different categories of tires, buying 20 in each category with its own funds for testing at its facility in Connecticut, according to Peterson.
“All the products we test, we buy, and that makes us unique,” he said. “I buy the tires, talk to the manufacturers and find out which tires should be evaluated.”