OK, I gotta chime in on this post concerning Chinese tire “quality”.
Soon after buying our Surveyor in Sept. 2008, I started taking the tires in for balancing, as well as getting metal stems installed for my TPMS. Some took ~4oz. of weight, but no big deal, as some of that could have been in the wheel. I took the spare for balancing, and the 1st place said it didn’t balance correctly, but they got it the best they could. I got a 2nd opinion from another shop, and they said they balancing that was done was about as good as it gets since the tire was out of round. So I took the tire to a Goodyear dealer. The counter man took the tire back, came back and told me that the tire was out of round, but they couldn’t adjust it because the tread was down to 5/32nds. Knowing that I had seen the new tire “paint strip” on the tire and I had never put this tire on the ground, we both viewed the tire and he showed me the 5/32nd measurement. I showed him the paint strip and new tire nobbies on the tread on the opposite side of the tire. The tread on that side measured in at 9/32nds. He called 1 of the installers over to look at the tire, and his comment was something on the line of “Oh yeah, the Chinese manufacturers had been known to ‘buff’ their tires when they came off of the line out of round”……I hope this guy got to keep his job after blurting that out.
The counter man called Goodyear, and they denied the claim because of the 5/32nd measurement, even though he explained the situation. He told me he would check with the area Goodyear rep to see what could be done, but didn’t give me much hope. A few days later, the counter man called and said Goodyear had agreed to giving me a new tire………I think they were afraid of me going to the NTSB and BBB with this problem…….which I told the counter man “I guess that was my next step”. I had a little remorse about being “bought out” with a new tire, but notifying the NTSB was questionable, since the tire was probably not anymore dangerous than other Chinese tires…….other than shaking all of the screws out of my camper if I ever had to use it. And since they eventually made good on the tire, I really had no reason to go to the BBB.
I have no proof that the Chinese factory did the buffing on the tire, other than what the installer stated was alleged knowledge among the tire industry. This tire had gone through 3, maybe 4 companies before it got to me…..depending on whether Lippert or Forest River installs the tires. But since travel trailer tires are seldom balanced before it reaches the consumer, I seriously doubt that Lippert, Forest River, or the dealer would even know that was out of round. But……it is very suspicious that this tire ended up as a spare and not on the road. In thinking about that, I wonder if Goodyear offers these faulty tires to trailer manufacturers with a deep discount as “spares only” ?? Just speculating there.
And BTW, I did check the tire code, and it was manufactured in Weihai , China.
In all fairness, I will say that I have not yet had a blowout with either Carlisle or Goodyear trailer tires with about 12,000 miles of travel over the last 6 years with 2 different trailers. But when it comes to replacing my tires (probably this year), I am going to buy Canadian or USA made Goodyears if possible. For me, I just want to send a message, however small that is, that we need the jobs here in North America, and not across the Pacific. If enough people request North American made tires, maybe the big tire names will finally get the picture.
I will now get off of my soapbox.