Ally is a tireless disgruntled former Sears customer. We don’t mean that she’s tireless in that she’s working without ceasing to take down Sears. We mean that she really needs some new tires, which she ordered from Sears last week. She called them up to make sure that they had her tires in stock, and they did. When the time came for her service appointment, though, she found out that Sears didn’t have the tires in stock for her, and they couldn’t explain why in a clear way. What they could provide her with was a hold on her bank account because she had originally ordered the tires with her debit card. So that was awesome. [More]
The changing weather means a different set of challenges for your car. In order to do what you can to prevent yourself from getting stranded in the cold in the coming months, it makes sense to give your vehicle a once-over. [More]
Ah yes, winter tires. That’s what you need right now. You want to buy an expensive set of tires just for one season. Is it even necessary? Can’t you just get all season tires and be done with it? Maybe! But the answer really depends on where you live and what type of surface you’ll be driving on. [More]
When CBS Sacramento’s Call Kurtis went to investigate consumer complaints that a tire shop was advertising super low prices and then jacking up the price with the final bill, the store didn’t do a very good job of living down their reputation. Especially when they spit on the camera crew twice and gave them the middle finger. I also enjoyed the part where Kurtis asks who owns the store and the guy behind the counter says, “your mom.” [More]
Are you planning on buying tires soon? According to this report from TireBusiness.com, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is planning on raising its prices for passenger and light truck tires by “up to 12 percent,” in response to an increase on tarrifs from China. They wouldn’t provide a hard date for the price increase, but said “soon.”
Proposed federal rules will mandate more comprehensive labeling on tires. The new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration label will rate tires’ fuel efficiency/gas greenhouse rating, tread ware, as well as the traction they get on wet roads.
Before you drop off your car at your local dealership for any sort of repairs, make sure you’re clear on the chain of liability should anything happen to it—especially right now, when dealerships can barely afford those flappy air things, much less tires. A woman in Charlotte, NC was left with around $1,000 in damages when the tires and wheels were stolen from the 2005 Audi she’d left with the dealership over the weekend.
Those “new” tires of yours could be six-years old and ready to disintegrate on the highway. Tire rubber dries out after six years, but unlike in Europe and Asia, American companies are allowed to sell expired tires long after they turn into death donuts. A 20/20 investigation found that the “new” tires on sale at Sears and Walmart can be up to 12-years-old. Inside, how to tell when your tires were born…
Enterprise wouldn’t replace Melissa’s rental car even after a mechanic declared the tire on her current car “unrepairable,” and warned that it would be unsafe to drive 400+ miles back to New York from Rochester on a donut spare. Enterprise told Melissa to spend the day repairing the car at a garage at her own expense. Melissa, who was recovering from surgery, asked to swap her broken car for one that worked, a request Enterprise repeatedly denied.
While Sears Auto may not be the division of Sears that leaves you without hot water for three weeks, or refuses to refund the money on the TV they never delivered, they are the division that magnificently screws up changing a tire then tries to bill you for the labor it took them to fix their mistake. Reader R writes in to tell us when he needed to replace a damaged tire, Sears Auto had the cheapest price. After three hours and two different tires, he left Sears Auto with the damaged tire he drove in with. Sears botched the first attempt at a tire change by giving him a tire in the wrong size, then presented him with a bill for the additional labor it took them to get it right. When R balked at paying to fix their mistake, the manager on duty put the busted tire back on the car. Classy! Read his story, inside.
Nitrogen in your car tires can marginally reduce air-loss, just don’t use it to replace regularly checking tire pressure. [ConsumerReports]
After sending a complaint via Executive Email Carpet Bomb, Arnie says the Pep Boys Vice President of Service called him and has apologized and refunded all his monies.
UPDATE: Pep Boys Apologizes
NHTSA ordered the recall after Foreign Tire Sales told the agency that some of Hangzhou Zhongce’s tires were made without a safety feature, called a gum strip, that helps bind the belts of a tire to each other. Some of the tires had a gum strip about half the width of the 0.6 millimeter gum strip Foreign Tire Sales expected, the importer said.
An importer of tires based in New Jersey is asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for help recalling 450,000 imported light truck tires from China, according to CNN Money. The tires are the focus of a lawsuit involving a fatal crash “in which two construction workers were killed and a third was severely injured when a van rolled over,” according to the New York Times. The lawyer representing the lawsuit claims that the company only came forward after being named in the suit. From CNN Money:
The tires, made by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co., have an insufficient or missing gum strip, a safety feature that helps prevent the tires from separating, the lawyers and a consumers’ group said in a statement. The group, Safety Research & Strategies, is urging retailers and wholesalers to stop selling the tires.
The importer says the tires were sold under the names Westlake, Telluride Compass and YKS.