June 27, 2007 2:00 PM, EDT

Feds Order Recall of Chinese-Made Tires

Federal officials ordered a recall of tires made in China after their U.S. distribution company disclosed that the Chinese manufacturer had stopped including a safety feature that prevented tire treads from separating, the New York Times reported.

The tires were distributed by Foreign Tire Sales Inc., Union, N.J., and sold under the brand names Westlake, Telluride, Compass and YKS, in a range of sizes. They were sold as replacements and were not standard issue on vehicles, the Journal said.

The recall of 450,000 radial tires being used for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans, the Times reported.  Neither report said they were used in Class 8 big rigs.

FTS had originally sought the federal government’s help with a recall, saying it did not have enough money to recall tires, the Times reported. Typically, importers are responsible for the cost of recalling defective foreign products.

But National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials said it remained the responsibility of the company to pay for the costs of the recall, the Times said.

A Pennsylvania accident last August occurred when the tire’s tread allegedly separated in a van carrying four people, causing it to crash. Two of the four were killed and one was seriously injured, the Journal reported.