Foreign Tire Sales Announces Voluntary Recall of Tires


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UNION, N.J.--Foreign Tire Sales, Inc. (FTS) of Union, New Jersey today announced a recall of about 255,000 Chinese-made, steel-belted radial tires that it imported into the United States. The tires were defective because they lacked a safety feature called a gum strip or contained gum strips that were not large enough, FTS has determined.

The tires were sold from early 2004 to mid 2006 as replacement tires for SUVs, pickups and vans under the brand names Westlake, Compass and YKS. They were manufactured in China by the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company, Ltd (HZ). FTS designed and contracted for light-truck radial tires from HZ that had gum strips between the steel belts, and began to sell them in the U.S. in 2002. The gums strips help to protect against the tread or belt separating from the tire, which can cause accidents. But HZ changed the construction of the tires without informing FTS.

Independent tests conducted by FTS in May, 2007 determined that the tires without gum strips or with insufficient gum strips posed a safety hazard. The company then informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the safety defect and has cooperated fully with NHTSA on the recall that commences today.

Richard Kuskin, President of FTS, noted that Consumers should know that the affected tires meet all federal motor vehicle safety standards. But we went the extra mile by testing them and determining that they did not meet our standards, which are more rigorous. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of consumers who use our tires. When our extra tests revealed that tires with the changed construction had a safety defect, we came forward and let NHTSA and American consumers know.

FTS recommends that consumers check the sidewall of their tire(s) for the brand, size, model and Department of Transportation (DOT) number. The recall applies to Westlake, Compass and YKS brand tires with the following on their sidewalls:

Size               Models                  Partial D.O.T. Number
LT235/75R-15       CR861, CR857            7DT5FTS...........
LT235/85R-16       CR860, CR861, CR857     7DT2FTS...........
LT245/75R-16       CR860, CR861, CR857     7DT3FTS...........
LT265/75R-16       CR860, CR861, CR857     7DT4FTS...........
LT31X10.5 R-15     CR857, CR861            7DT6FTS...........

No other tires are involved in the recall. Consumers whose tires are in the categories above and who bought the tires from early 2004 through mid 2006, should call the toll free number 1-888-899-9293 or go online at www.foreigntire.com for further instructions.

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