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Cosmetic sidewall cracking leads to Goodyear replacement policy

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has instituted a "customer satisfaction program" surrounding one size of Goodyear RS-A original equipment tires.

The program is confined to size P245/45VR18 on the Nissan Maxima SE, primarily 2004 model year vehicles. It applies to RS-A tires that may have experienced sidewall cracking.

"It's not a safety issue, it's not a tire integrity issue," says a Goodyear spokesman. "It's cosmetic only."

Goodyear will replace all four tires free of charge if any of them show sidewall cracking. Goodyear corrected the problem on tires used on model year 2005 Nissan Maxima SEs; however, the program also covers any of the previous tires found on 2005 models.

The company sent out a letter to all identifiable vehicle owners of the aesthetic problem in mid-June. Goodyear tire dealers also have been notified on how to handle the situation and receive reimbursement.

The problem came to light in the media when an ABC network news affiliate in Washington, D.C., ran a story about the cracking earlier this year. A follow-up story on June 29 tried to equate the cracking and the letter sent out by Goodyear with the recent recall of defective Chinese tires.

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