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03. July 2007

Importer tells consumers to return recalled tires to dealer

UNION, New Jersey - Foreign Tire Sales Inc., the importer of about 450,000 Chinese-made truck tires ordered by a government agency to be recalled, is advising consumers to return the tires for free replacements.

FTS said customers should take the tires back to the dealer from which they were purchased. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on June 25 ordered the recall of the tires, made by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd., after testing showed they lacked sufficient gum strips between the belts to prevent potential belt and tread separation. The recall covers Westlake, Telluride, Compass and YKS brand tires made between 2002 and December 2005. FTS’ attorney, Lawrence N. Lavigne, estimates the total cost of the recall at $50 million to $80 million. The New Jersey-based importer said it has only enough resources to pay for about 10 to 15 percent of the recall. FTS told NHTSA that it had received few registration cards for the recalled tires, and that Hangzhou Zhongce ignored repeated requests for the tires’ Department of Transportation identification numbers. The company also said it believes other companies have imported Hangzhou Zhongce-manufactured light truck tires into the U.S.

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