On October 31, 2014, Toyo Tire Holdings of America (“Toyo”) filed a Safety Recall Report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announcing the recall of over 175,000 tires manufactured between 2008 and 2011. The recall applies to the “Open Country H/T Tuff Duty” tires which are sold in the replacement market and intended for installation on SUVs, trucks and vans. Toyo describes the defect in the tires as “production variances in the belt package during the relevant production periods [which] may have created conditions that may put undue stress on the belt edge, potentially contributing to the separation of the belts.”

Toyo initiated the recall due to concerns that the defective tires could experience a tread or belt separation leading to tire failure and vehicle collisions. Tires in the early stages of belt separation may cause the vehicle to vibrate or the tire to experience uneven tread wear. According to Toyo’s report filed with the NHSTA, in August of last year Toyo received a complaint stating that a fleet of Ford E350 trucks experienced tread and belt separations involving the Open Country HT tire. Similar complaints from other fleet vehicles followed. After Toyo conducted a safety and quality assurance analysis of the failed tires, the company decided to initiate the recall.

Owners of the defective tires are being asked to bring their vehicles and/or tires in for replacement. Customers who registered their tires will receive notification directly by mail. Customers who did not register their tires will be notified through independent dealers or distributors, where possible. The company will run its recall program for the defective tires through March 1, 2015. To prevent the production of defective tires in the future, Toyo reports that adjustments were made to its production process to “make the belt package design more robust.”

Jason Cornell is a civil litigator with Clark Fountain La Vista Prather Keen & Littky-Rubin, located in Florida, Florida. Jason focuses his practice on personal injury and automobile defect cases, representing clients with catastrophic injuries. If you have questions regarding this or other posts written by Jason, you may contact him at (561) 899-2111 or jcornell@clarkfountain.com.