Toyo Tires Recalls 69,000 Tires Due To Sidewall Defect


Posted on 30th January 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has recalled 69,000 tires because of a defect in the sidewalls that may make them crack.

The tire model is the Toyo Extensa A/S, which was manufactured in the company’s plant in Georgia from 2009 to 2010.  

The tires can be identified on the sidewall by the “Made in U.S.A.” mark and the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number (TIN) ranging from 3809 to 4410. The TIN can be found after the letters “DOT” on the tire sidewall.

Toyo Tires made before or after this period aren’t being recalled, nor are tires with the “Made in Japan” or “Made in China” mark.

According to Toyo’s website, “Some of these recalled tires may have been produced with a kink in the bead area. Under certain circumstances, the kink may eventually lead to a crack in the bead area, which is near the rim. If a crack develops and is left undetected, the tire may fail, potentially causing loss of vehicle control and a crash, which could result in injury or death.”

Toyo told consumers that if they own a recalled tire, they should contact the dealer they bought it from, or an authorized Toyo dealer, to schedule an appointment to replace it. The recalled tire will be replaced for free, including the mounting, balancing and taxes, as long as it is returned by May 31.

Toyo has also set up a consumer hotline, 800-442-8696, for questions on the recalled tire.

Consumers were also told that if Toyo can’t get them the necessary replacement free of charge within a reasonable time, they should contact Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, D.C., 20590.

According to The New York Times, Toyo received its first complaint about a cracked sidewall in July 2010. Toyo checked into the matter, but found that the tires were “within specifications.”

But Toyo had a number of warranty claims last year, The Times reported, and started another probe. Toyo found that some of the tires had a thinner sidewall that was permitted by its production standards, and issued a recall.     



Global Market For Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Projected To Hit $3 Billion By 2017


Posted on 10th September 2011 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The global market for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), which can help prevent accidents caused by under-inflated tires, will reach $3 billion by 2017, according to a comprehensive report by the research firm Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

In summary, the report found that growth in the TPMS market will be “driven by resurgence in automotive industry and stringent legislations focusing on active road safety measures… (the) focus on fuel efficiency, growing popularity of run-flat tires and product innovation/differentiation strategies adopted by manufacturers.”

U.S. legislation that makes integration of TPMS mandatory in all cars has and will continue to drive growth, according to the GIA report.

“The market will gain additional momentum when similar legislation is passed in Europe by 2012 or 2014,” according to GIA.

Unevenly inflated tires, which compromise the stability and balance of the vehicle, increase the risk of car crashes. And beyond the tragedy of someone losing life or limb in an accident, the costs stemming from vehicular accidents  and government legisaltion mandating TPMS use will be the force behind developments in the safety devices, according to GIA.

There is already some legislations in place in the United States, and more that’s yet to be implemented in Europe and Asia.  Those factors will dictate growth in the TPMS market, according to GIA.

“Over the last decade, governments around the world have focused on legislating active road safety measures, given the rise in the number of casualties on road worldwide,” GIA said in a press release. “Unlike in the United States, where the TPMS legislation was solely driven by safety issues triggered by the massive recall of tires due to tread separation in the year 2000, in Europe TPMS legislations are driven by fuel efficiency benefits and reduction of CO2 emissions.”

In addition, GIA said, “With the exception of South Korea, Asia-Pacific, in comparison, has no mandatory TPMS legislations and market penetration currently remains low. However, success in lobbying efforts in mandating TPMS in the region could result in Asia emerging into a driving force in the world TPMS market.”

Auto makers have two choices as to what technology to deploy in monitoring tire pressure: direct or indirect TPMS technology. And according to GIA, roght now direct TPMS are considered as technologically superior for meeting required safety standards.

Direct TPMS have the deepest penetration in the United States, accordingn to GIA,  because of its ability to meet the stringent National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration final ruling requiring all vehicles to be installed with a four-tire TPMS capable of detecting a ‘more than 25 percent under-inflated tire, while simultaneously sending a warning signal to the vehicle dashboard within a detection threshold of 20 minutes.

However, the market could completely change in the event of successful technology innovations that help indirect TPMS match the accuracy levels of direct TPMS. Currently, spearheading developments in this space is NIRA Dynamics’ Tire Pressure Indicator (TPI), an indirect TPMS capable of detecting tire under inflation in all four tires and designed to meet both American FMVSS 138 and the European ECE R-64 safety regulations on tire pressure.

Given that market opportunities for TPMS are largely depend on the overall health of the automobile industry, the current worldwide recession temporarily has held back growth in the global TPMS market, GIA said. The trickle-down impact of the depressing business climate in the automotive industry on this market was reflected in the growth rates, which largely failed to meet the optimistic expectations of the pre-recession era.

“While the slump in new car sales displaced business opportunities at large, postponements of aftermarket purchases of safety systems, solutions and products, as a result of consumers’ preference to delay or even cancel discretionary purchases during difficult economic conditions, squeezed opportunities for TPMS in the aftermarket sector,” GIA said in its press release. “Expensive aftermarket electronic installations especially have been impacted, a direct fallout of weakening employment rates, consumer income and spending power.”

According to the GIA, ” With automotive production increasing, most cars scheduled for roll out in the upcoming years will come high on safety features, next generation automotive safety technologies. Regulatory riders that mandate the use of TPMS together with the strategy of wielding these systems as key brand differentiating factors will continue to encourage OEM’s interest in TPMS.”

TPMS manufacturers will be under pressure to reduce the cost of expensive systems, which are no longer considered as optional extras.

“Product-development efforts are largely geared towards achieving low maintenance, operating costs, and more accurate and reliable monitoring of tire pressure,” GIA said in its reelase. “Provision of value-added features, such as measurement of pressure, temperature and  torque to provide additional benefits, such as complete data analysis so as to invoke changes in driving style to extend tire life, is also rising in popularity as a competitive tool.”

Product-development efforts, including those targeted at Wireless TPMS that eliminate the need for additional electronics to make a wired connection, are expected to generate new opportunities in the short- to medium-term period.

Major players in the marketplace include Alps Electric Co., Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, BorgWarner BERU Systems GmbH, Continental AG, Delphi Automotive LLP, Dunlop Tech GmbH, General Electric Co., Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., Kavlico Corp., NIRA Dynamics AB, PressurePro, Pacific Industrial Co., Robert Bosch GmbH, Schrader Electronics Ltd, Silicon Microstructures Inc., Transense Technologies Plc, TRW AutomotiveHoldings Corp. and VTI Technologies Oy.

The research report titled “Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS): A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Globa Industry Analysts provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, company profiles and key strategic industry activities. The report analyzes the global TPMS market for all major geographic markets, including the United States, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain) and other parts of the world.








Winter Tire Challenges – Front Wheel Drive Cars Should have Snow Tires on Back


Posted on 18th December 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Front wheel drive cars. I remember when they were a novelty. I had a 1966 Toronado, reputedly the first major front wheel drive. And the common wisdom then was to put the snow tires on the front. My guess is that is still the common wisdom. Actually, it is the common misconception.

All tire manufacturers agree that the tires with the best traction must be on the back. If not when your car begins to fishtail or hydroplane, you won’t be able to steer out of the skid and you will be in a spin.

We have a new web home, Odd time of year to focus on rain accidents, but the dynamics are the same. Snow and rain make your car hydroplane. If you begin to skid, you will be able to control it if you have the better traction on the back. If you have the better traction the front, you are in serious trouble.

Any tire installer that put the new tires or the snow tires on the front, has committed a negligent act that could kill or seriously injure. Insist on the better tires in back.

If someone you know got hurt in a skidding accident, call us to see if it was the tire installers fault.

Michelin Tires Blamed in $12 million lawsuit


Posted on 11th September 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Every trial lawyer has known the frustration of the potential client with catastrophic injuries in a one car accident or an accident where there was no adequate insurance. The driver of the car is either the actual victim or is insufficiently insured to compensate the injured person or persons. But before the lawyer closes that file, he must ask where does the actual fault lie? In thousands of cases, its the tires. In only a few does someone think to look, or look at all of the right issues.

For the victims of Michelin’s negligence in Brownsville, Texas, the lawyer got it right. According to the Brownsville Herald, a jury has ordered Michelin to pay nearly $12 million after finding that faulty tires caused a wreck that killed six people. According to this story:

A Willacy County jury returned an $11.96 million judgment against the nation’s largest tire maker Thursday, after finding defective tires caused a wreck that killed six people and left a 12-year-old boy paralyzed.

The panel found that a manufacturing flaw in a Goodrich tire — made by South Carolina-based Michelin North America — substantially contributed to the New Year’s Eve 2006 crash that occurred just outside Matamoros.

The tire on a 2002 Ford F-250 pickup truck driven by the family of then 10-year-old Jesus Guzman separated from its tread, causing the vehicle to swerve into oncoming traffic, according to court documents. The truck collided with a Chevrolet Suburban killing all six passengers inside the SUV.
Always look at the tires in every severe motor vehicle wreck case. We have written on this many times before including our entire webpage about hydroplaning accidents at The true fault may lie with the tires – “there is a lot riding on those tires”.

Church bus crash kills 1 in Miss.; 23 injured


Posted on 13th July 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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It is an old advertising slogan “so much is riding on your tires.” The below story of a Mississippi fatal bus crash proves that point.

We have often blogged on this topic, but buses are not just tragic for the death that flows from them, but also the high probability of brain injury in such wrecks. No seat belts, no airbags, none of the safety engineering that has reduced the risk of brain injury so dramatically in passenger cars. We pray that those attending the injured do more than push pain killers and look for the obvious injury, but also ask probing questions of memory and cognitive function, so that any subtle brain injury is identified.

Attorney Gordon Johnson

Date: 7/12/2009 7:27 PM

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — A bus carrying a church youth group from Louisiana to Georgia flipped Sunday on Interstate 20 in Mississippi, killing one person and injuring 23 others, a coroner said.

The bus, from First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., rolled three times around 10:20 a.m. near Meridian and trapped at least two people underneath, Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler III said.

“It had a blowout,” Cobler said.

At least two passengers were trapped underneath the bus. A group of National Guard soldiers was on the highway at the time and helped extricate the injured.

“The National Guardsmen actually picked the bus up off the two people and got them out,” Cobler said.

An 18-year-old male was pronounced dead at a hospital, Cobler said. His name was not released.

Three people were airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, including one with severe head injuries, while the others were being treated at three hospitals in Meridian, the coroner said.

Cobler said injuries ranged from severe pelvic, back, and chest injuries to scrapes and scratches.

An official at Regency Hospital of Meridian said six people were taken there and another official at Rush Foundation Hospital said 13 people were being treated there, but neither would release the conditions of the crash victims.

Church officials told The Shreveport Times newspaper that the bus was headed to a weeklong youth event near Atlanta called “Passport.”

Phone messages left with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Birmingham, Ala.-based Passport Inc. were not immediately returned.

The congregation learned of the accident shortly before Sunday morning worship and used the occasion to rally together in prayer.

“Our congregation is leaning on our faith and confidence in God,” First Baptist senior pastor Greg Hunt said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Bald Tires Flat Dangerous – US Government Info


Posted on 7th October 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Nine percent driving on bald tires – gas stations not helping

Too many American motorists face injury or death by driving around on unsafe, bald tires and the nation’s gas stations are not helping the situation, according to the Department of Transportation.

In response to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports showing that 9 percent of passenger cars on U.S. roadways are driven with at least one bald tire and that many gas stations fail to provide air pumps or accurate tire pressure gauges, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta urged motorists to closely monitor their tires.

“It is extremely important to motorists’ safety that they ensure their tires have ample tread and are properly inflated,” Secretary Mineta said. “Motorists who drive on tires that are bald or substantially under-inflated risk injuries or fatalities.”

To better protect motorists, the NHTSA is launching a new tire safety campaign called: “Tire Safety: Everything Rides on It.” Through ads, brochures and radio ads, the campaign will stress the importance of proper tire inflation and vehicle load limits. Motorists will also be advised to check their tires monthly, as well as prior to a long trip, to be sure they have adequate tread.

The NHTSA study found that 14 percent of gas stations are either not equipped with air pumps or have malfunctioning pumps. Also, less than half of all gas stations that offer air pumps provide tire pressure gauges. NHTSA points out, however, that motorists can purchase accurate tire pressure gauges for a nominal price.

In July 2001, NHTSA proposed new federal regulations that would require the installation of tire pressure monitoring and warning systems in new passenger cars and light trucks. Improper inflation is the main cause of premature tread loss and sudden tire failure, according to tire industry experts.

Tire tread provides the gripping action and traction preventing a vehicle from slipping and sliding. In general, tires are not safe and should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16th of an inch. Tires have built-in treadwear indicators that let a motorist know when they should be replaced. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear even with the outside of the tread, it’s time for new tires.

Tread condition can also be checked with a Lincoln penny. Just place the penny upside down within the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire needs to be replaced.

Key findings of the NHTSA study on tire tread:

* Nine percent of passenger cars are being driven on at least one “bald” tire. (For purposes of this survey, a tire was considered bald if it had 1/16th of an inch or less of tread depth.)
* Bald tires are between 1.5 and 1.8 times more likely to be under-inflated than are tires with deeper tread, depending on tire location.

Key findings of the NHTSA study on gas station air pumps:

* Over 90 percent of U.S. gas stations are equipped with air pumps. However, nearly 10 percent of these pumps are out-of-order.
* Fewer than half of the pump-equipped gas stations also provide a tire pressure gauge for customer use.
* Nearly 20 percent of the stations providing customers with tire pressure gauges on their air pumps use gauges that over-report the pressure present in a tire by at least 4 psi (pounds per square inch) or more. (This means that motorists who use such gauges in the belief that they are inflating their tires to the recommended pressure would, in fact, be under-inflating them by 4 psi or more.)

According to NHTSA, 27 percent of passenger cars on U.S. roadways are driven with one or more substantially under-inflated tires.

Tire Safety Tips from NHTSA:

A radial tire can lose much of its air pressure and still appear to be fully inflated. Operating a vehicle with substantially under-inflated tires can result in a tire failure, such as instances of tire separation and blowouts, with the potential for a loss of control of the vehicle. Under-inflated tires also shorten tire life and increase fuel consumption.

Tires should be inflated according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. These can be found in the owner’s manual or on a placard, which is often located in the glove compartment or on the driver’s doorjamb. Motorists should not rely on visual tire inspections to determine whether a tire is properly inflated but should use a tire pressure gauge to do so.

NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis conducted the two new studies. Statistics from the studies are contained in research notes on the agency’s Website at: (Most documents require free Adobe Acrobat – .pdf file reader.).

New database has info on auto deaths, injuries


Posted on 23rd September 2008 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Date: 9/10/2008 6:59 PM

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government unveiled a new public database Wednesday that will enable consumers to look up the number of alleged deaths, injuries and cases of property damage involving passenger vehicles.

Consumer groups have sought the information, which was part of legislation passed by Congress after the massive recall of Firestone tires in 2000. The law required manufacturers to provide data on numerous safety complaints and was devised to help the government quickly detect potential problems.

The so-called “early warning” data was released because of a ruling by a federal appeals court in July that barred the government from withholding key data reported by manufacturers. Some data was allowed to remain confidential, including warranty claims and field reports submitted by the manufacturer.

The data, which goes back to 2003, is reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by automakers, tire makers, motorcycle companies and child seat manufacturers on a quarterly basis. The public database now provides information from 21 automakers.

During the first three months of 2008, the most recent data available, General Motors Corp. reported receiving complaints of 52 deaths and 610 injuries, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Ford Motor Co. said it had received reports of 40 deaths and 340 injuries and Chrysler LLC reported receiving complaints of 23 deaths and 149 injuries during the span.

In the same period, Toyota Motor Corp. advised NHTSA of 8 deaths and 106 injuries, Nissan Motor Corp. said it had allegations of 7 deaths and 34 injuries and Honda Motor Co. reported 3 deaths and 22 injuries.

Wade Newton, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, cautioned that the data often includes unsubstantiated claims and could not be used to confirm a safety problem.

He said a company with a large global presence reports data from foreign countries in addition to the United States and a manufacturer’s size and vehicle sales would play a large role in the data set.

Consumer groups said it would be useful information to car buyers. Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group that sued to have the data made available, called it a “smashing success for consumers.”

She recommended that owners and car shoppers use the database to learn more about specific vehicles.

NHTSA said they had been using the data since December 2003 as a supplement to the estimated 40,000 consumer complaints they receive each year. Through the end of August, NHTSA said it had used the early warning data in 84 defect investigations, which can sometimes lead to vehicle recalls.

About 100 manufacturers, mostly tire companies, have asked NHTSA to keep their data private because they contend it includes confidential business information.

Dan Zielinski, a spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire makers, said the data included “accusations and people who review this database should keep that in mind.”


On the Net:

The early warning reports can be found at:

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.