Cooper says it never bought light truck tires from Hangzhou

July 10, 2007

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a letter to Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. saying that Cooper had been identified as a company that "may have" imported tires from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. "of similar construction" to the Hangzhou-made light truck tires under recall. (The agency also sent identical letters to 13 other companies.)

A spokeswoman for Cooper has told that the Findlay, Ohio-based tiremaker never bought light truck radials from Hangzhou. Cooper has communicated this to NHTSA, she said.

In the past, Cooper has sourced passenger and medium truck tires from Hangzhou, "but we stopped buying last year. We have capacity for passenger tires in our U.S. plants" and the company's Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Truck Tire Co. Ltd. operation is taking care of its truck tire production, she noted.

Starting on July 16, Foreign Tire Sales Inc. intends to recall up to 450,000 light truck radials it sourced from Hangzhou.

Hangzhou manufactured the tires between mid-2002 and mid-2006 under the names Westlake, Compass and YKS.

Last week, Hangzhou officials said they have found "no reason to believe that our tires are defective or dangerous."