Chinese Tire Recall

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A tire importer said Thursday it would recall 255,000 Chinese-made tires it claims were defective because they lack a safety feature that prevents tread separation.

The recall involves half the number of tires that the importer, Foreign Tire Sales Inc., had identified in June as possibly posing a risk.

The models involved are steel-belted radial replacement tires for pickups, vans and sport utility vehicles that consumers bought from early 2004 through mid-2006, Foreign Tire Sales said.

The recall is among a series of recent problems involving imports from China. Products including toys, toothpaste, seafood and pet food have been recalled.

Information on the tire recall was to be posted at Foreign Tire Sale's Web site. A link is at the end of the story. Consumers can also call a toll-free number, 888-899-9293.

The recall applies to Westlake, Compass and YKS brand tires in these sizes and models:

--Size LT235/75R-15, models CR861 and CR857, with a DOT number beginning 7DT5FTS.

--Size LT235/85R-16, models CR860, CR861 and CR857, with a DOT number beginning 7DT2FTS.

--Size LT245/75R-16, models CR860, CR861 and CR857, with a DOT number beginning 7DT3FTS.

--Size LT265/75R-16, models CR860, CR861 and CR857, with a DOT number beginning 7DT4FTS.

--Size LT31X10.5 R-15, models CR857 and CR861, with a DOT number beginning 7DT6FTS.

Although Foreign Tire Sales did not make the tires, it is responsible for the recall, under U.S. law.

NHTSA ordered the recall after Foreign Tire Sales told the agency that some of Hangzhou Zhongce's tires were made without a safety feature, called a gum strip, that helps bind the belts of a tire to each other.

Some of the tires had a gum strip about half the width of the 0.6 millimeter gum strip Foreign Tire Sales expected, the importer said.

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