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Michelin announces recall of 46,000 BFGoodrich tires

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Michelin North America Inc. is recalling 46,000 BFGoodrich passenger and light truck tires after its quality system alerted the company to a condition initially affecting ride quality, but which could possibly result in steel belt separation if not addressed.

"To date, there have been no accidents or injuries reported and no property damage claims filed," according to the company. "However, the company’s thorough investigation indicates there may be similar performance issues with up to 3,500 tires, representing six tire brands.

"In order to reclaim that small number of tires, the company is recalling all potentially affected tires produced during the same period in a comprehensive commitment to retrieve from the market any tire that doesn’t perform to BFGoodrich Tire´s quality standards."

Michel Default, quality director for BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing, says the decision was made based on six tires prematurely returned from service following tire vibration, noise and ride comfort issues.

"Based on our analysis of these returned tires, we’ve discovered an issue with one of the semi-finished products sent to our Fort Wayne, Ind., facility and used in the production of up to 3,500 tires at the end of the 15th week and beginning of the 16th week (April) this year. That issue has been addressed and corrected.

"Fortunately, the issue was identified very early and we are acting in a comprehensive manner to assure consumer satisfaction and safety,” he adds.

BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing, an operating division of Michelin North America, informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Sept. 27, 2004, of its United States recall campaign and is beginning an intensive communication with dealers, wholesalers and consumers potentially impacted.

All recalled tires will be replaced free of charge and returned to BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing.

The recalled tires have Department of Transportation tire identification numbers which begin with DOT BF and end with the last four digits 1504 or 1604. The DOT codes are found on the inner or outer sidewall of the tire just above the wheel rim and are printed in small type (less than half an inch tall). There are no issues with tires manufactured outside of these DOT weeks.

All of the recalled tires were produced in week 15 and 16 this year (April 11-24, 2004) at the Fort Wayne facility and include BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Liberator, Medalist, Phantom and Prospector brands in the following dimensions:

* LT235/75R15: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/AKO Load Range C RWL.

* 33X12.50R15: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/AKO Load Range C RWL.

* LT235/70R16: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/AKO Load Range C RWL.

* P245/75R16: BFGoodrich Land Terrain; Uniroyal Laredo AWP.

* P255/70R16: Liberator A/T; Medalist Sport King A/T Steel Radial; American Prospector AP RWL; Uniroyal Laredo AWP.

* P255/70R16 109S: Medalist Trail A/P ORWL; Phantom AP RWL.

* P265/75R16 114S: Uniroyal Laredo AWP ORWL.

* P265/75R15SL 112S: Uniroyal Laredo A/S AWP.

BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing has begun contacting dealers and wholesalers in the U.S. to recall as many tires as possible from dealer inventories and to gather information on consumers who have purchased the tires involved. Affected consumers will be contacted by first class mail. Appropriate related actions will be conducted in other countries that received the recalled tires.

Any consumer who believes they are affected by the recall should not wait to receive notification but should call Michelin at (877) 788-8899 (BFGoodrich) or (877) 458-5878 (Uniroyal), or return to their point of purchase for a free inspection and replacement of affected tires. Additional information, including details on how to determine which tires are affected, can be found online at www.bfgoodrichtires.com/recall and www.uniroyal.com/recall.

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