BALTIMORE (Aug. 5, 2007) As corporations continue to import consumer productsand now foodfrom China in order to continually increase their profits, American citizens continue to pay the price in other ways. At first, American workers lost their jobs as U.S. factories were closed and moved to China. Now the consumer is paying the price by purchasing Chinese goods that may be defective or even deadly.
In March of this year, many people lost their beloved pets when they were poisoned by pet food manufactured in China that contained melamine. Not long after, a warning was issued for Chinese-made toothpaste that was believed to be poisonous. Just last Thursday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of about 967,000 Fisher-Price toys manufactured in China which contain excessive lead.
Now, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is warning consumers about potentially dangerous tires that may have been sold to Maryland drivers and could create a potential safety hazard for those riding in light trucks, sports utility vehicles, and vans equipped with the tires. The tires were manufactured by the Chinese tire company, Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co., and imported into the United States by Foreign Tire Sales, Inc. (FTS) of Union, New Jersey. The affected tires may be susceptible to tread separation, which can cause serious accidents.
"The potential for harm is great for consumers who may have purchased these tires," said Attorney General Gansler. "Consumers who believe they own the affected tires should have them inspected by their tire dealer as soon as possible and contact our office."
The potentially dangerous tires were sold from 2002 to 2006 and were distributed in the United States under the names Westlake, Compass, and YKS. Consumers should check the sidewalls of their tires for the brand name, size, model, and DOT number. Specific tire numbers and sizes affected by this inquiry are as follows:
Size, Model #:
LT235/75R-15, CR861 CR857
LT245/75R-16, CR860 CR861 CR857
LT265/75R-16, CR860 CR861 CR857
LT235/85R-16, CR860 CR861 CR857
LT31X10.5R-15, CR861 CR857
Look for these numbers, brand name, and model on the tire sidewall as indicated on the diagram. Also, look for the DOT number in the smaller print toward the center of the tire. If the DOT serial number starts with "7D"and has "FTS" as part of the number, it may be subject to a future recall.
Consumers who purchased any of the tires described above, should contact the dealer where they bought the tires. If that dealer is located more than 50 miles away, they should contact another tire dealer and ask them to inspect the tires.
Consumers who have the specified tires should also contact Attorney General Gansler's Consumer Protection Division at (888) 743-0023 toll free or at (410) 528-8662. Consumers should also contact the Division if a tire dealer is unwilling to replace the specified tires.
Gansler also warned consumers to be wary of buying used tires. It is possible that some used tire dealers may try to capitalize on this situation by re-selling tires subject to this inquiry that have been replaced and are supposed to be destroyed. Though unethical and hazardous, it has happened before. Check used tire numbers, and do not buy any that are specified in this inquiry.
At this time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not formally ordered a recall of any of these tires, and no replacement tire program has been instituted. However, according to filings submitted to NHTSA, a recall program by FTS is being developed and is being reviewed by NHTSA. An official recall of at least some of these tires may begin in early August. Consumers may visit FTS' web site at www.foreigntire.com to register affected tires and obtain information related to a recall. The dealer where they purchased the tires also should have information available shortly. Consumers also can visit the NHTSA Web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov for more information.
China does not provide the same level of consumer protection afforded to Americans courtesy of U.S. government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Conversely, few food products are inspected as they reach U.S. ports.
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