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Foreign Tire Sales sets date for start of recall

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Foreign Tire Sales Inc. (FTS) has submitted a remedy plan to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for review and hopes to officially start recalling up to 450,000 defective Chinese-made light truck tires on July 16.

The tires were manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company Ltd.

They were sold between mid-2002 and mid-2006 under the names Westlake, Compass and YKS.

"FTS is complying with all regulatory standards and requirements and will officially release details of its recall plan shortly," say FTS officials.

In a message to consumers posted on its Web site, www.foreigntire.com, FTS says "before commencing formal recall activities, FTS recommends that owners check the sidewall of their tire(s) for the brand, the size, the model and the DOT number.

"If the DOT number contains 'FTS' as part of that number, the tire may be subject to this recall. In that event, please contact your dealer to determine where they purchased the tire.

"If your tire does not contain 'FTS' in the DOT number it is not part of this recall. It is FTS' understanding that the manufacturer, Hangzhou Zhongce, has sold tires containing 'FTS' in the DOT number to other companies.

"FTS is currently working to determine which tires with 'FTS' in the DOT number are part of this recall.

"The affected tires will also contain a tire size starting with 'LT.' If the tire size does not show 'LT,' it is not part of the recall.

"The affected tires have DOT numbers that start with '7D' and end in either '02,' '03,' '04,' or '05.' No other tires are involved in the recall.

"To alleviate confusion, FTS advises that light truck tires carrying the Westlake, Compass, and YKS brand names with DOT numbers ending in '06' are not part of the recall.

"Additionally, YKS tires bearing DOT codes containing '8E' were manufactured by a different company and will not be part of the recall. Likewise, Compass brand trailer service tires bearing 'ST' in the DOT code are not included in the recall. Lastly, specialty tires bearing these brand names as well as bias ply tires are not part of the recall."

FTS says it will set up an 800 number that will be posted on its Web site.

"FTS will make every effort to locate, identify and replace all of the affected tires it imported into the United States."

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