Tire recycling company Liberty Tire was recently caught selling recalled tires. The tires were manufactured by Kumho Tires, but in 2012 the company notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it would be recalling over 40,000 of them. The tire manufacturer reported that the sidewalls of these tires could easily crack and potentially cause collisions. Thankfully, very few of these tires had actually been sold to consumers (about 122). Most of the tires were still sitting in Kumho warehouses.
Liberty Tire is one of the nation’s largest tire recyclers, and it is also the company that reused and repurposed these recalled Kumho tires. Because of Liberty Tire’s failure to comply with the recall, Kumho is having to issue a second recall. Liberty Tire was supposed to scrap all the recalled tires, but did not. Kumho then filed a Defect and Noncompliance notice with the NHTSA alleging that it paid Liberty Tire to have all the recalled tires disposed of- totaling nearly 12,000 tires. Kumho did not state how they found out about Liberty Tire’s recycling scheme.
Liberty Tire actually took a large number of these recalled tires, 7,875 to be exact, and sold them to tire wholesale companies throughout Texas, New York, North Carolina and Puerto Rico instead of disposing of them. These tires are standard passenger car size (SOLUS KH25). In the company’s own words, Liberty Tire is making “sustainable product that improve people’s lives” but how exactly is selling defective and recalled tires to consumers “improving people’s lives”?
Buying used tires may have a certain appeal to the environmentally savvy consumer, but there are actually many hidden dangers in purchasing repurposed and patched tires. It is difficult to be sure of the quality of a tire after it has changed hands so many times. According to an advisory by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), “Used tires may have been exposed to improper service, maintenance or storage conditions and may have been damaged, which could eventually lead to tire failure.”
To view the full text of the advisory, view Used Tires: A Booming Business with Hidden Dangers. If you bought recycled or otherwise defective tires and you were involved in an auto accident, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. We fight for the rights of accident victims. To learn more about how the firm may be able to assist you, contact our Longview product liability lawyers today.