Chinese Tire Recall Reveals Problems With Imports, EWR

PHILADEPHIA, PA. - A recall of 450,000 tires imported from China has exposed a loophole in the regulations that do not provide consumers with a remedy if an importer cannot afford to conduct a recall. The importer's discovery of the defect - through a spike in warranty claims - also demonstrates the importance of the public accessibility to Early Warning Reporting data.

In June, Foreign Tire Sales, of Union, N.J., appealed to NHTSA for aid in recalling an estimated 450,000 light truck tires sold under the names Westlake, Telluride, Compass and YKS, asserting that the manufacturer, the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company, had left a critical component out of the tire. Hangzhou officials have denied that the tires are defective. Initially, FTS said that it would go bankrupt if it were required to recall, replace and dispose of the defective tires. But NHTSA was unmoved by FTS's hardship claims and ordered it to file a remedy plan.

Judge Orders NHTSA To Revisit Early Warning Records Rulemaking

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V3 Issue 3, May/June 2006

Washington, D.C. - A U.S. District Court judge has kicked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration final rule on the confidentiality of records submitted under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act back to the agency. On March 31, Judge Robert Leon found that NHTSA "pulled a switcheroo" when it published its Business Information Confidentiality rule regarding the confidentiality of defect-related information in the early warning database established under TREAD nearly three years ago, and did not allow adequate opportunity for public comment.