Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a warning to consumers about defectively manufactured tires that may have been sold in Illinois and could create a potential safety hazard for those riding in light trucks, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), and vans equipped with the defective tires.
These are the Chinese tires manufactured without or with an insufficient gum strip between the steel belts of the tires, making the tires susceptible to tread separation.
It is well documented that tread separation can cause serious and potentially fatal accidents. More than 7,000 affected tires may have been marketed in Illinois as light truck radial tires and sold under the brand names of Westlake, Compass and YKS between mid-2002 and mid-2006. As stated previously, the defective tires are manufactured in China by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. and imported into the United States by Foreign Tire Sales Inc. The recall involves the following tire sizes:
• LT235/75R-15 CR861 CR857
• LT245/75R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
• LT225/75R-16 CR 861
• LT265/75R-16 CR860 CR861 CR857
• LT235/85-16 CR 860 CR861 CF857
• LT310X10.5-15 CR861 CR857
If consumers in Illinois discover that they own any of the tires in question, they should file a consumer complaint with the Attorney General's office. Consumers can download a consumer complaint form at www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov or can call the Consumer Fraud Hotlines in that state.
In addition, for safety purposes, customers should immediately contact their dealer and ask to be refunded the cost of the defective tires. Owners should check the sidewall of their tires for the brand, size, model, and DOT number. If the DOT number contains "FTS" as part of the number, it may be subject to the recall. More information from FTS can be found at www.foreigntire.com/recallinfo.html. Consumers also can visit the NHTSA Website at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
The Illinois Attorney General's office is opening an investigation related to the distribution of defective tires in that state. As part of the investigation, the office will look into the possibility of obtaining restitution for consumers who replace defective tires. The Attorney General's involvement is a good course of action and will benefit the people in her state.