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CR Investigates ‘Counterfeit’ Tires

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In September, Consumer Reports included in its rankings of all-season truck tires three sets of “low-price” Chinese-branded all-season truck tires. CR ranked these three sets at the bottom of its rankings, which caught the attention of American Pacific Industries (API), owner of the Pegasus brand in the U.S. Questioning the results of the study, API told CR that the tires tested were “gray market” – produced or sold by a factory and vendor that was not authorized to make or distribute them.

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This allegation caused CR to investigate further the source of the tested Pegasus brand tires.

According to a letter sent by Barry Littrell, API’s CEO, to CR:

“The Pegasus Advanta SUV tires you tested … were not produced by any authorized vendor to American Pacific Industries; who owns the trademark ‘Pegasus Advanta SUV’ and the hardware used to produce those tires.”

CR reported that the codes on the tested tires, E3 3512, 3612, and 5012, indicated that the tires were built at the Yellow Sea tire factory in Qingdao, Shandong, China, in August and December 2012. Littrell told CR that API made no such manufacturing run:

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“American Pacific Industries’ relationship with this factory ended in 2011 [and] our records indicate the last shipment of these tires in the SUV pattern was in December of 2011. Many of our molds went missing at that time. We have no idea who may have made these tires nor what they put in them.”

To read Consumer Report’s story, click here.

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