It has been a busy March and April for tire manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Several tire makers have recently initiated substantial recalls for manufacturing defects that can greatly increase the risk of a potentially deadly crash.
As the only part of a car that actually makes contact with the road, tire safety represents a major concern for drivers and deserves serious attention. Below are four of the most recent recalls to occur since the beginning of last month, all of which involve tires that violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 139, “New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles.”
Achilles and Radar Radial Tire Recall
This week NHTSA announced that the tire maker PT. Multistrada Arah Sarana is issuing a major recall of 36,592 tires. Recalled models include the following:
19,676 Achilles Desert Hawk A/P light truck tires in sizes LT215/85R16 115/112L 10PR, LT235/85R16 120/116L 10PR, and LT225/75R16 115/112L 10PR
16,916 Radar Radial RLT-9 in size LT235/85R16 120/116Q 10PR
The narrow bead design of the Achilles tires increases the chance of blistering on the lower sidewall. This blistering indicates a weak spot in the rubber and increases the chance of a sudden loss of air, putting drivers at risk for a crash. These tires were manufactured from January 2010 to November 2011.
The Radar Radial RLT-9 tires were manufactured with a defective sidewall design which also puts drivers at risk. This defective sidewall can lead to dangerous tread separation which also may cause a sudden loss of air pressure and vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. The manufacturer produced these tires from December 30, 2009 to January 31, 2011.
PT. Multistrada Arah Sarana is expected to begin notifying owners of these tires sometime this month to announce the recall and replacement. This replacement will cover the noncompliant tires and be free of charge.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Recall
Last week, NHTSA acknowledged Cooper’s recall of 1,084 tires due to inaccurate labeling. According to the safety recall, some of these tires may have been produced with an incorrect load range label.
Incorrect “maximum permissible inflation pressure” and “maximum load” labeling puts drivers at risk for overloading vehicles and underinflating tires, both of which put drivers at a greater risk of being involved in an accident.
This recall is expected to begin on April 11, at which time Cooper will notify owners. Dealers will then replace those tires in noncompliance free of charge.
Guizhou Tyre Corp. (GTC) Tire Recall
The Chinese tire manufacturer, Guizhou Tyre Corp. (GTC), recently underwent its second tire recall in as many months. On March 30, Del-Nat Tire Corporation, owner of GTC, notified NHTSA of a voluntary tire recall they are carrying out on 2,663 Chaparral Radial XT/ P235/75R15 tires. According to this recall notice, bubbles or blistering on the tire sidewall can increase the risk of crash due to air loss tire failure.
This sidewall defect can expose the belt or even cause tread chunking. Tread chunking refers to the process where small bits of rubber are ripped from the tire tread.
According to NHTSA, these light vehicle tires were produced from September 2008 through December 2009 by GTC. The company explains that in December 2009, this tire model, along with the company’s entire line of light truck radial tires, was discontinued. The company is not producing any other tires like this one today.
The company will begin notifying owners of the recalled tire this week and replace all of those manufactured in the impacted date range free of charge. According to the notice to customers, determining if a tire is subject to this recall only takes a few minutes, while the actual replacement will take approximately half an hour per tire.
Advance Extra Grip Recall
This tire recall came just before the late-March recall of the Chaparral Radial tires. Both of these recalled tires were manufactured by GTC.
According to NHTSA, the Advance Extra Grip AR215 light truck radial tires were produced with similar sidewall bubbles or blistering. Drivers operating vehicles with any of the 12,289 recalled tires are also at risk for belt edge exposure, tire tread chunking, and air loss. That free recall was expected to begin last month.