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Friday, March 22, 2013

Quality of complaints filed on Chinese made tires

One of the challenges of writing this blog is to have topics that you the readers find interesting and informative.
At times I feel I am just a broken record as I repeat Know the load, Inflate the tire, Report failures to NHTSA. One thing I do to try and get new ideas, is to read posts on various RV forums on people's questions on tires or statements of their problems. I also monitor which of my topics have drawn the most viewers. My most popular post to date was from Jan 2012 on Chinese tire quality.

I also note there continues to be references to "China-bombs" on various forums so I thought I would review the status of complaints to NHTSA on some tires some think are made in China, for without complaints that provide the information needed by the investigators at NHTSA, there will never be a recall and without a recall there is little real incentive to some companies to improve the quality of their tires.

Here are some current complaints:
Some say the Greenball brand is a "China Bomb"
01/25/2013 there was a complaint about GREENBALL TOW MASTER ST225/75R15 The claim the tires suffered sidewall cracks. There was damage to the RV.  I note that the tire manufacturer was not notified of the problem and that the tire DOT serial was not provided to NHTSA.

12/19/2012 there was a complaint about GREENBALL TOW MASTER with the claim "TIRE BLOW OUT in Sept 6" No tire size, mileage or DOT serial was provided to NHTSA

11/13/2012 there was a complaint about GREENBALL TOW MASTER size 225/75/15. The claim that both the front & rear passenger side tires failed at 1,000 miles. DOT NUMBER WAS NOT AVAILABLE.

10/24/2011 GREENBALL CORPORATION TOW MASTER TIRES, SIZE FT 205/75R15, SERIAL NUMBER: 9DUL2810 on a 2012 Heartland

Note the 9D indicates the tires in question were made by   P.T. Industries, Karet Deli, Indonesia
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I then looked at another non-US made tire  MISSION brand
 09/26/2012 MISSION ST TIRES, SIZE: 205 75 R15 are incorrectly identified as made by General Tire. Two tires "exploded" but no DOT was provided.

There were four other complaints field with various tire failures. All identified incorrectly as being made by General tire and no DOT serials were posted so we cannot identify the actual country of origin.
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I then looked for Power King Tow max
There are also problems with NHTSA data as this tire has been recorded as being manufactured by Cooper Tire Co. but I have looked for information and it appears the Powerking brand is imported  by TBC Wholesale

I did find there were 22 complaints on file and a couple actually provided the tire DOT which allowed me to identify the production plant as SHANDONG HENGFENG RUBBER & PLUSTIC CO., SHANDONG, China

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Bottom Line
SOme but not all tires that fail appear to be made in China. Also the NHTSA web site isn't very easy to use to find which tires have fewer complaints than others. One of the major reasons is what engineers call GIGO   Garbage In Garbage Out. 
People are not providing the tire DOT serial so numerous errors follow, making the complaint web site less than helpful, which means others can't gain knowledge needed to make informed decisions.

1 comment:

  1. Just a personal observation specific to trailer (ST) tires. I follow the recommendations of Goodyear, Maxxis, and Discount Tires. I inflate my ST tires to the maximum indicated on the sidewall "For trailer tires, inflating near the max pressure indicated on the tire sidewall is a good option for cooler running lower rolling resistance and load-carrying capacity." Maxxis M8008 Load Range "E" tires have provided outstanding performance during my travels.

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