Last September, the Chinese Tire Tariff expired and had many consumer advocates concerned that by not renewing it, American drivers could be subject to the poorer standards and quality of imported tires. Chinese-made tires aren’t obligated to meet stringent consumer standards like automobile tires that are manufactured and sold in the U.S., and the expiration of the tariff meant that even poorer quality tires could find their way into the American market, leaving drivers susceptible to both dangerous tire defects and accidents.
An example of this problem occurred recently, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of a variety of Hercules Tires most commonly used on light-duty commercial trucks. Manufactured in China, at least seven sizes of Hercules ALL-TRAC A/T 10-Ply Load Range E Tires are currently being recalled by Hercules because of a manufacturing defect that could cause incredibly dangerous tread separation. If separation occurs while a vehicle is being operated, the driver could lose control of the vehicle and cause accidents and considerable injuries to other drivers and passengers.
In the defect notice to the NHTSA, Hercules Tire officials recognized that the specific number of tires involved in this recall was still unknown. However, the following tires and model numbers are affected:
- LT215/85R16 115/112S, DOT Serial Numbers JEHMECL5008-4010
- LT235/85R16 120/116S, DOT Serial Numbers JEKMECL4708-4010
- LT245/75R16 120/116S DOT Serial Numbers JEJKECL4608-4010
- LT265/75R16 123/120S, DOT Serial Numbers JENKECL4808-4010
- LT265/70R17 121/118S, DOT Serial Numbers JENJFCL5108-4010
- LT245/75R17 121/118S, DOT Serial Numbers JELKFCL5008-4010
- LT225/75R16 115/112S, DOT Serial Numbers JEJKECL5108-4010
Hercules has since contacted retailers and distributors to stop selling these models immediately, and the company and NHTSA are encouraging vehicles owners who may own these tires to check their serial numbers to determine if further action is needed. Consumers can contact Hercules at (888) 965-5795 for additional information, as the company will replace the tires free of charge.