The government has ordered the recall of up to 450,000 Chinese-made tires sold in this country under at least four brand names. The problem: the treads on the tires can separate with potentially deadly results.
The four men riding in this van in August 2006, had no way of knowing its tires were made in China. The tread peeled off - the van rolled. Two passengers died, while another suffered serious head injuries.
“All of this could have been prevented had the manufacturer not put profit in front of safety,” attorney, Jeffrey Killino said.
The tires were made by China’s second largest tire manufacturer and imported into the U.S. by a small New Jersey distributor.
“Prior to purchasing any of these tires, we asked them to run through tests that went above what the dot requirements are,” said Maureen Gardner, manager of Foreign Tire Sales.
These tires, which are made for SUVs, vans and pick-ups, appear to be missing a safety feature that helps hold the tread together. Nearly 32 million tires were imported from China last year. But it’s not just tires - there’ve been recent recalls of a host of Chinese imports - ingredients for pet food, tainted toothpaste and toys with lead paint.
“The Chinese themselves should realize that it’s not going to be business as usual in the future and business as usual had meant send whatever you can to the United States regardless of its safety and regardless of its standards,” New Jersey Senator Chuck Schumer said.
As for the defective tires, the New Jersey company said it doesn’t have the money to recall them - even as the government insists it has to find a way.