Michelin Recalls Thousands of Tires with Potentially Dangerous Defects

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transport Canada have been notified by Michelin North American that the international tire giant is recalling approximately 6,500 Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Sport 255/35ZR20 97Y Extra Load tires in the United States and Canada. The recall is specifically limited to the above mentioned tires only.
 
This decision came as a result of findings by Michelin’s own internal quality control system that the tires in question do not meet the company’s quality standards.

The defect in the affected tires ordinarily appears first as a visible blister on the sidewall of the tire that may produce a noticeable tire vibration, which a driver might detect.

The condition may also result in a rapid loss of air pressure, which could potentially lead to a loss of control and potential vehicle crash.
   
To date, there have been no accidents or injuries reported in North America. The majority of the tires affected by the recall were distributed in the U. S. with fewer than 400 distributed in Canada. Related actions are under way in other countries.
    
The recalled tires were fitted as original equipment on some trim levels of Jaguar XJ8 vehicles and also were available in the replacement market. The affected tires’ DOT markings begin with FHPNEFMX and end with 00, 01, 02, 03 or 05.  

The DOT code can be found on the sidewall right above the rim printed in small type less than half an inch tall. Consumers should first make sure of the tire’s make and model: Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Sport 255/35ZR20 97Y Extra Load.  

Next, the DOT code on the sidewall should be examined. Affected tires have a DOT code that begins with FHPNEFMX and ends with 00, 01, 02, 03, or 05 as the final two digits.   

Consumers who have difficulty identifying a tire’s DOT code should ask for assistance at a local tire dealer or call Michelin Consumer Relations at 1-800-847-3435 (1-888-871-4444 in Canada). A photo of an affected tire can be found online at:   http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051229/CLTH002.

The first two characters FH designate the tire’s manufacturer and plant code. The third and fourth characters denote the tire size. The fifth, sixth, eleventh, and eighth (optional) characters identify the brand as well as other significant characteristics.

The final four numbers denote the date the tire was produced with the first two indicating the week and the last two numbers indicating the year (05 indicates the tire was built in 2005).

The company will be replacing all potentially defective tires in a comprehensive commitment to retrieve from the market any tire that does not meet Michelin quality standards. Replacement tires are available at no cost (including mounting and balancing) to consumers through Michelin tire dealers.
    
Any consumer in the United States or Canada who believes they are affected by the recall should not wait to receive notification but should call Michelin Consumer Relations at 1-800-847-3435 (1-888-871-4444 in Canada) or return to their servicing tire dealer for a free inspection and replacement of affected tires

Since the potential defect is one that could cause a serious or even fatal accident, consumers should examine their Michelin tires immediately and not hesitate to have any tire affected by the recall replaced as soon as possible.

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