Press Release
For Immediate Release
July 5, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****

MADIGAN WARNS CONSUMERS OF POTENTIAL TIRE SAFETY HAZARDS

Chicago –Attorney General Lisa Madigan is warning consumers of 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. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has learned that the tires were manufactured without or with an insufficient gum strip between the steel belts of the tires making the tires susceptible to tread separation.  Tread separation can cause serious and potentially fatal accidents.

“It has come to our attention that these defective tires have caused serious accidents,” said Attorney General Madigan. “We want to make sure that consumers are aware of this information and take steps to check the tires on their cars and be cautious if they are planning to purchase new tires in the near future.”

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.  The defective tires are manufactured in China by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. and imported into the United States by Foreign Tire Sales Inc., (FTS) of Union, New Jersey.  FTS has informed the NHTSA that it is initiating formal recall procedures for 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 discover that they own 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 call the Consumer Fraud Hotlines:

Chicago: 1-800-386-5438 and 1-800-964-3013 (TTY)
Springfield: 1-800-243-0618 and 1-877-844-5461 (TTY)
Carbondale: 1-800-243-0607 and 1-877-675-9339 (TTY)
Spanish-language Hotline: 1-866-310-8398

In addition, for safety purposes, customers should immediately contact their dealer and ask to be refunded the cost of the defective tires.  FTS recommends that owners check the sidewall of their tires for the brand, size, model and the 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 Web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

The Attorney General’s office is opening an investigation related to the distribution of defective tires in Illinois.  As part of the investigation, the office will look into the possibility of obtaining restitution for consumers who replace defective tires.

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