Looking for bargains might appear like a savvy move, but it could result in the purchase of Chinese tires, some of which could be sub par.
When many people shop for new tires on their vehicle, price is the biggest determining factor. Looking for bargains might appear like a savvy move, but it could result in the purchase of Chinese tires, some of which could be sub par. Chinese tires are not necessarily defective, and those manufactured by major tire corporations in China often adhere to higher standards. However, there are still some worries associated with Chinese tires and whether or not they are putting drivers and passengers just like you in unnecessary danger when behind the wheel.
China's Poor Safety Record on Manufactured Goods
You don't have to think back too far to find several examples of Chinese-made products that fall short of perfect. Toothpaste, baby formula and more have all failed industry safety standards in and out of the country. While some tire brands, like Michelin, aim to bring the highest safety standards whether their tires are made in the Boston or Beijing, not all Chinese companies want to follow their lead. Without rigid industry standards and testing from outside and impartial agencies, it is simply too easy for Chinese tire manufacturers to skimp on the things that matter.
Less Quality Testing After Production
Even when standard protocol is followed in the manufacture of tires in China, some companies don't spend a significant amount of money, labor or time on quality testing. Every tire that rolls off the production line needs to be manually and visually tested for defects, but companies eager to cut corners and maximize profits may skip or rush through this vital part of the process.
Cheaper Tires = Less R&D
Another way that Chinese tires could be putting you in danger is because some Chinese tire manufacturers opt to copy existing tire and tread designs rather than creating their own. While this could be seen as a positive, it often means that the companies are skipping the integral research and development phase, or R&D. Research means an understanding of how tires work, how to prevent defects and how to prevent major tire blowouts, so buying tires from companies who skimp in R&D can be risky.
Chinese Tires and Recalls
As recently as April 2015, an accident caused by a defective tire's blowout that caused major bodily harm sparked a recall of all tires produced by the company. Based in China, the tires were at risk of rapid tread separation, which could easily lead to tire blowouts, a loss of control over the vehicle and even rollovers. The recall covered well over 98,000 tires across the United States, but the manufacturer of the tires also makes other tires under a different name, which are still being distributed. Don't wait until a recall or an accident to seek out better tires. While Chinese tires aren't inherently defective, nor are American tires guaranteed to be safe, it is smart to consider the risks involved and remember that cheaper tires are often at greater risk for defect and problems down the road.