Are You Buying Dangerous Counterfeit Tires?
While there are many counterfeit products that consumers might come across, ranging from clothing to handbags to watches and more, counterfeit tires are an unexpected development. The following reviews a scary report of the discovery of counterfeit tires, and what you should do as a consumer when purchasing tires.
Consumer Reports Analysis Discovers Counterfeit Tires
Consumer Reports is an organization that publishes valuable consumer information. In 2014, the organization did something it has done dozens of times before: test tires. They tested inexpensive ($95 apiece) Chinese-made Pegasus Advanta SUV tires. Upon testing, Consumer Reports deemed the tires to have a poor rating when it came to snow traction.
After publication of the rating, the owner of the Pegasus brand in the United States, American Pacific Industries (API), contacted the organization stating that Consumer Reports’ test results were much lower than API’s results. Upon further investigation, API stated that the tires tested by Consumer Reports were “not produced in any authorized vendor to Pacific American Industries…”
API said that it ended its relationship with the factory that produced the tires that Consumer Reports tested in 2011. Inspection of the tires revealed they were produced by the factory in 2012. API revealed the factory was destroyed and that many of its molds went missing. “We have no idea who may have made these tires nor what they put in them,” it told Consumer Reports.
Why did the counterfeit tires perform so poorly?
Even though the counterfeit tires tested by Consumer Reports came from the same mold as that used to create the Pegasus brand tires, the counterfeit manufacturer may have used inferior materials. This may explain why the tires performed so poorly on the Consumer Reports tests, far below API’s own tests.
Who manufactured the counterfeit tires is a mystery. Consumer Reports purchased the tires online through the website Tire-easy.com. The website specializes in low-cost tires. The president of the Tire-easy.com company, George Bohorquez, said that news of the counterfeit tires was a surprise to him as well.
Use Caution When Purchasing Tires Online
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that consumers should exercise caution when purchasing tires online. In addition, the NHTSA has also stated in a June 4, 2014 Safety Advisory that when buying tires, regardless of where purchased, consumers should always research the recommended tire size, type, and rating for their vehicle. Also check if the tires are subject to a recall.
Take Legal Action Now if Injured
Counterfeit tires may not be as safe as genuine ones. But who is responsible if a branded tire that turns out to be counterfeit causes an accident? Normally, the tire manufacturer may be liable. But if your tires were counterfeit, talk to your attorney about which party or parties may hold liability. In some cases, the retailer may be liable.
At Chalik & Chalik Law Offices, we’ll help you explore liability and file your product liability claim, gather evidence, and pursue a lawsuit to help you get the compensation you deserve. To begin, call us now at 855-529-0269.