In my previous post on Chinese made tires, I clearly touched a nerve.
Now, before I proceed, I have to tell you that when I was working I had a bit of a reputation of sometimes being a bit abrupt and “in your face” with some people. So please keep that in mind as you read this post. It is definitely not my intent to offend anyone but I do sometimes get a bit frustrated.
While some felt I had provided a reasonable report on the topic when I suggested that quality is not a function of geography, others seemed to think there was some political conspiracy underway against RV owners. As proof that I was incorrect, it was suggested I would learn the truth about Chinese quality if I did a Google search or looked at some on-line forums and checked out some customer complaints.
What I did instead was to go to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website and did a search for tire recalls to see which brands had recalls underway. I found over 200 tire brands in the current list with probably 1000 individual tire lines involved. Included in the list were BF Goodrich (owned by Michelin), Bridgestone, Continental, Firestone (owned by Bridgestone), General (owned by Continental), Goodyear, and Uniroyal (owned by Michelin). Each of these brands have a fair number of tires on the recall list. I did not see Mission brand, which is a specific brand identified by one person who contacted me about my post.
When I looked at the list of current investigation, I found most of the same names but again no Mission brand tires. I did find a single complaint from someone claiming that three of the “Mission Radial ST” tires on their passenger car had suffered tread separations. The complaint identified the tire manufacturer as GENERAL TIRE & RUBBER CO. This “complaint” is a good example of one of the major problems NHTSA faces. That being incomplete and inaccurate reports. The three failures were claimed to have occurred in Feb 2011 but the person didn’t bother to file a complaint till Jan 2012!. Since these were on a passenger car they should not be Mission brand ST type tires.
A review of other complaints shows that a significant portion of those filing complaints were more interested in reporting problems related to having a tire fail while on the road or concern for their dogs, than providing accurate data or even the most basic information related to the tires in question.
Examples of complaints:
A Goodyear brand tire complaint summary stated “A 2011 CHEVROLET CORVETTE GRAND SPORT EQUIPPED WITH GOODYEAR EAGLE F1 TIRES LINE SIZES P325/30Z R19 (REAR), DOT NUMBER: M6XE DBDR 3010 AND P275/35/Z R18 (FRONT), DOT NUMBER M652 DBDR 2810. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE VEHICLE HYDRO PLANED DURING A RAIN STORM, CAUSING THE VEHICLE TO DRIVE INTO ANOTHER LANE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT TAKEN TO THE DEALER BUT THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED AND MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE FAILURE AND CURRENT MILEAGES WERE 1,700” Do you think it possible the driver was traveling too fast for the conditions?
A Firestone brand tire DOT serial given as “DOT 522P P235/50R17” (size in this complaint listed elseware as a 23575R15) More info on DOT serials can be found here.
Here is a picture of a tire that has failed.
While I can’t be certain, as I only have the picture to go on, I am inclined to believe this may be the result of a manufacturing problem. If there are a number of tires with similar condition it may justify requiring the importer to replace the tires, maybe even for free or possibly with a different brand depending on the findings of the investigation.
HOWEVER there will never be an investigation if there are no complaints. Here is a link to the correct form.
If you have had a tire failure not due to puncture, valve or wheel failure, run low or overload then I challenge you to fill out the form with the FULL DOT serial, correct tire brand and correct tire size and Load Range information provided.
Here is the list of the information you need to collect before you start to fill out the form:
•Tire brand such as Big Round Tire Company
•Tire line such as Mud Wumper 4
•Size such as LT225/75R13 LR-D not 295-16 22 ply
•Component. Identify either Tread, belt, Sidewall or Bead
•Full DOT -- all 11 or 12 letters and numbers vehicle year, make and model
It does not have to be a “China Bomb”. It does not even have to be on your RV. But simply claiming you had a tire fail a couple years ago but can’t provide accurate information is of no value. I will keep an eye out and report back on just how many Mission brand tires are in the claims next week or so.
To those claiming that budget cuts prevent proper actions, don’t you think it would make it easier for regulators to get the funds they need if they had a number of accurate claims that needed investigation?
Okay, now I will get off my soap box.