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NHTSA Overturns Falken Truck Tire Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has exempted Falken Tires from a recall of more than 5,000 of its truck tires.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has exempted Falken Tires from a recall of more than 5,000 of its truck tires.

The tires under the NHTSA’s initial recall notice were Falken Model RI151, size 225/70R19.5, manufactured between October 17, 2016, and April 28, 2017. After Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), which owns the Falken brand, filed a petition with the federal agency, the NHTSA ruled that the mislabeling it found in the tires under the recall was “inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.”

Last June, Sumitomo found that the Model RI151 truck tires were marked with the incorrect number of plies. When Sumitomo Rubber’s North American arm was informed of the marking error, shipments of the tires were halted and the company determined that the subject tires failed to comply with the federal tire labeling requirements for motor vehicle safety

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“Specifically, the subject tires were incorrectly marked “TREAD 5 PLIES STEEL,” although they should have been marked “TREAD 4 PLIES,” Sumitomo’s petition stated. Sumitomo changed the ply marking after the recall was issued.

In its decision to grant Sumitomo’s petition, the NHTSA said the Falken tires listed in the recall met all safety requirements under federal law.

“We believe the labeling noncompliance at issue here is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. The subject Falken tires were manufactured as designed and meet or exceed all applicable FMVSS No. 119 performance standards. Furthermore, all of the sidewall markings related to tire service (load capacity, corresponding inflation pressure, etc.) are correct and the tires correctly show that they contain steel plies. SRI does not believe the mislabeling of these tires presents a safety concern for consumers or retreading and recycling personnel. As noted above, the affected tire mold has been corrected and tires produced on and after June 17, 2017, are marked with the correct number of plies.”

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However, the NHTSA ruling states that tire distributors and dealers are prohibited to sell the noncompliant tires under their control.

 

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