Michelin is recalling 1.2 million tires because of potential tread separation and other dangers. This is a truly dangerous situation, and it is important a process is in place for recalls of defective products overseen by the NHTSA, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
American consumers have seen this movie before, but it too-often required many wrecks and personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits by trial lawyers for victims to get the attention of the tire manufacturers and, at times, automobile manufacturers. Examples include the tragedies surrounding Firestone 500s in the 1970s and various Firestone tires that were involved with Ford Explorer rollovers in the 1990s. See the congressional statement of then president of Public Citizen, and former NHTSA administrator, Joan Claybrook in September 2000. There she recommended many changes to the authority of NHTSA to act and require action.
Firestone has not been alone in having tires with defects. Here is an example: Michelin Recalling 77,000 Tires Due to Bad Tire Casing. Also, previously we have detailed the problem of aging tires and the hazards of personal injury and death they can pose: Beware of Your Aging Tires!
It is now being reported that certain Michelin tires are experiencing tread loss or rapid air loss. The tires are normally used for pickup trucks, heavy-duty vans, small RVs and commercial light trucks. The Michelin LTX M/S tires, were manufactured between January 2010 and June 2012 and were sold as original equipment on some vehicles and as new replacement tires. To date, less than 200 tires have been returned for the problems. Michelin will replace the tires at Michelin stores for no charge. Please click the following NHTSA Campaign link to view the recall information:
NHTSA Campaign ID Number : 13T012
Synopsis : Michelin North America, Inc., (Michelin) is recalling certain Michelin LTX M/S tires, size LT225/75R16 115/112R LRE, manufactured from January 10, 2010, through June 23, 2012, and supplied for use as original equipment on certain Ford vehicles, and as replacement equipment on various brand commercial light trucks, full-sized heavy duty vans, small RVs and some large pickup trucks. These tires could experience tread separation. Tread separation can lead to rapid air loss, which may result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. Michelin will notify owners and Michelin dealers will replace the tires free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on January 6, 2014. Owners may call Michelin Consumer Care Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, or Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am to 4:30pm EST at the following numbers: USA: 1-800-231-5893 (language options: English and Spanish).