We have all heard of counterfeit purses, jewelry and clothing; but have you heard of counterfeit tires. What is a counterfeit tire and who is making them? They are coming to the US via a Chinese brand and your local tire shop maybe selling them.
The tires are showing very poor ratings in Consumer Reports for winter and wet traction, based on their investigation. The tires are showing up around the country, as American Pacific Industries Products. The codes on Consumer Reports tested tires, E3 3512, 3612 and 5012 indicates the tire was built at the Yellow Sea tire factory in Qingdao, Shandong, China. The product was manufactured up until December 2011. Unfortunately, many of the molds for the tires went missing after the factory was closed.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration investigates these claims, but has not received any. They have responded to the Consumer Reports Investigation as such, "NHTSA works closely with our federal partners to investigate counterfeit tires that have a potential safety defect and do not meet federal standards. Our advice to consumers is to use caution when purchasing auto parts on the internet shipped from other countries or sold at very low prices. We also urge anyone with information about a potential safety issue involving any tire to report to the NHTSA."
In counterfeit operations the NHTSA, does not have oversight. That issue is handled by US Customs and the FBI, concerning intellectual property rights, patents and trademarks. American Pacific Industries would have to make a claim with Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.
There are many concerns with tires that meet or do not meet industry standards. Tires are one of the most important items on the car. They assist with braking, hydroplaning, traction, and controlling the vehicle. You should be especially concerned with your tires when: the tread is worn, the tire is underinflated, steering wheel is shaking (misalignment) or excessive shaking could indicate a bad belt inside of the tire.
At Kalfus & Nachman we want you to be safe when driving on the roads of Virginia and North Carolina. Tire inspection is part of the vehicle inspection process in Virginia, don't take that for granted. Take measures into your own hand and build a check list. Pilots on aircrafts check their plan prior to each take off, this a mandatory checklist from the Department of Aviation. They have no room for error and you should not either when operating a vehicle.
- Inspect your tires regularly
- Keep them properly inflated
- Do not keep tires on your vehicle over 5 years, tires dry rot and the tread will separate (often seen on the local highways here in Virginia, left behind on the roadways of I-64 from tractor trailers).
If you or a loved one has been involved in a personal injury caused by counterfeit tires, its important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800-361-0430 for your initial free consultation. Kalfus & Nachman PC, can help you determine whether you need a lawyer for an accident or any personal injury case.