• Jun 25, 2007
In recent years, products made in China have gained more renown for being cheap than for the quality control behind them. Up until now, inexpensive sneakers that fall apart after a few weeks or DVD players that work erratically have been more of an annoyance and an economic threat as opposed to a physical one. Recent headlines would suggest that might be changing, however. The contaminated pet food that killed dozens of cats not long ago and the video of a Chinese car collapsing in on itself during a European crash test bring the issue of potentially hazardous Chinese imports to a whole new level.

Foreign Tire Sales, Inc. of Union, NJ is suing China's Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. over a series of catastrophic failures of tires they manufactured that resulted in a fatal car crash in Pennsylvania. Hangzhou has been manufacturing tires sold by FTS and other distributors that left out an extra layer of rubber between the steel belts, causing them to overheat and have tread separation similar to the Firestone tires that failed on Ford Explorers several years ago. The tires may need to be recalled and FTS doesn't have the financial resources to deal with something like that, so it's suing the Chinese company to cover the expenses since they built the tires in a way that differed from what was specified. The Wall Street Journal's report on the matter contains additional details, and is well worth a read.

Thanks to Mike for the tip.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      that's why i will never get married and make a baby here .
      I dare not think to change the country,but that's what i can do.
      forgive my weak English
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree with #5.

      FTS seems to not have very good quality check standars , otherwise they would have cought it.

      you need to check each batch for correctness, randomlu picking the tire and must cut into it to see that all teh layers are there.

      but alas, good luck with the lawsuit
      Ben K.
      • 7 Years Ago
      China is doing the same thing Japan did, turn out alot of cheaply priced junk. Japan, believe it or not use to export alot of poor quality goods to the U.S. in the 60's and 70's. Finally during the 80's Japan turned out superior quality. Now the Chinese supply Wal-Mart with most of their products. Inferior quality, you get what you pay for. I routinely return items for exchange or refund within 30 days, poor quality is the norm. Corporations pay these third world countries, slave labor wages and we reap the consequences. The United States is dangerously dependent on Asian countries for any and everything. They love our money, it is more powerful than missles. The Middle East supplies our need for petroleum. Our technology is being expoted to India. Once we can no longer manufacture steel, tires, vehicles and planes we will be in trouble. Many of the military's supplies come from, you guessed it China. Why, have we allowed this to happen? Buy American and support American jobs. Who will pay the taxes when the middle class is gone?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think China and the rest of the Western world are deep in the middle of an undeclaired war. China continues to export poisend and /or defective goods. China has a longrainge plan to be the number one world power. China has all the time in the world to achieve their gole. China depends on the greed of corrpret America to manufacture cheep goods in sub-standard and corrupet culture. We had better STOP consuming Chinees goods.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I take comfort in the fact my Falken's say, 'Made in Japan' on the sidewall.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The issue here is clearly with regard to more complex and advanced products. Sure the Chinese can make an adequate teddy bear or T-shirt. When it comes to cheap products like that, it doesn't matter too much where something is made.

      However, automobiles and their tires are much more difficult to manufacture properly and much more dangerous if poorly constructed. There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of Chinese products of this sort. I for one want no part of them.

      First of all, the Chinese still mostly use state ownership, which means rampant corruption and inefficiency right off the bat. Second, given the nature of the Chinese communist government in particular, they have zero regard for human life and less than zero regard for telling the truth. Third of all, the Chinese are well behind the curve technologically and most of their manufacturing experience is low-tech.
        • 7 Years Ago
        chinese can do sophisticated goods, problem is that they do everything you want from them. do you want $10 tyre? no problem, they gonna manufacture it. of course it will be 50% rubber, 50% dog shit.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree. Garbage in, garbage out.

        Chinese companies can make good quality products if the people ordering them force them meet a high standard and don't sacrifice safety and quality just to skimp on cost. The problem is, when you do that it ends up being almost as expensive as building products in the US or EU once you add overhead... but execs want 50% savings, not 10%, so quality is thrown out the window more often than not.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "We wouldn't have Chinese made goods if people didn't line up to buy them. If you want to find out who's to blame for the flood of cheap, poorly made Chinese crap on American shelves just look in the mirror."

      That's unfair.

      No one is complaining about Chinese goods. Yet. They're complaining about poorly made Chinese goods.

      The people lining up to buy Chinese goods expect that they live up to Western regulations and standards. Which is a fair expectation, considering they're on Western shelves.

      No one expects that a Western country would still be selling toothpaste with antifreeze in it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We wouldn't have Chinese made goods if people didn't line up to buy them. If you want to find out who's to blame for the flood of cheap, poorly made Chinese crap on American shelves just look in the mirror.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's with the hate for "Made in China"?

      EVERYTHING is made in China nowadays. Autoblog makes it sound like everything made there is defective/crappy. Not the case. The two isolated cases mentioned (pet food and tires) are more about a bad batch than a full-blown national quality issue. It would be similarly unfair to criticise the entire American manufacturing industry given two specific product recalls.

      Besides. You get what you pay for. And, last time I checked, it's the western world that's (happily) buying most of China's cheap products.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Look, it's up to the manufacturer to INSPECT and perform QA on a product before it is released. There are plenty of "components" made in China which are then assembled and "made" somewhere else (i.e. Japan, Germany, etc.) which are plenty good. Look, $100 Michelin, $100 for 4 FTS special, common sense tells you they're not going to be equivalent.
        • 7 Years Ago
        you get what you pay for ... as the saying goes.
        chinese products are getting a bad rap ... why ??? cause PEOPLE'S SAFETY ARE OF NO CONCERN TO THEM !!!! they will not assume responsibility instead either collapse the company or ignore the situation all together.

        this is not a good way to start an empire ... unfortunately i can see this causing MANY more issues in the near future (ie. human death, illness with no one to blame other than western firms taking advantage of cheap labor with no regard for protocol and safety).

        I don't think we should be asking "why all the hate" ... without critics ... would we allow this to go without question ? I think not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Another recent "Made in China" recall was Thomas toy trains. The Chinese company used LEAD PAINT!!! This stuff has been banned in the U.S. for over 20 years.

        I am sorry, but I agree that some serious reviews of using Chinese made products needs to be done.
        • 7 Years Ago
        There's outrage because the products that are coming out are not toothpicks or cans of mushrooms. These are safety-critical products like tires, auto parts, and entire cars.

        The entire Chinese auto industry is set on copying US, Japan, and German cars. Hell, they even slap two entirely different cars together (copies) and badge it their own creation. The audacity. I consider the Chinese auto industry to be as ingenious and inventive as a 4-year old child who mimics their parent.

        Until the Chinese stop forcing their dollar down in value and begin a real free market economy (read: Democracy), nothing good will come out of China. Their cars suck. Buy Japanese cars. End of story.

        Stoneman
        http://www.stonemanautoreview.com
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't know what you are thinking, but 90% of the stuff I own that was made in China is absolutely sub par to the stuff that was made in North America/Europe. There are a few exceptions to this, but for the most part is true.
      • 7 Years Ago
      SUING a company in the PRC? *Scoff*...Good Luck with that...

      This is a government that pulls pregnant women out of their homes and forces them to abort at the local hospital; uses child labor to manufacture Olympic merchandise; displaced a million people and flooded dozens of towns and villages to build a dam; and executes incompetent bureaucrats who embarass the Party (okay, maybe that last one is all right...)

      In any case, FTS has its work cut out for it.
      far jr
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the Chinese copany agreed to provide tires designed to FTS standards then "cheapened" the design, I would expect FTS to have a good claim for the World Trade Organization against HZ rubber.

      Stick to USA made tires from American companies and you will be better off. Check the sidewalls on GoodYear, Kelly Springfield, Cooper, and Mastercraft. Some foreign companies make fine tires too like Michelin and Uniroyal (France), Brigestone and Firestone (Japan). You have the right to request what you want at the tire dealer and you will get more if you pay more. If you buy the chepest tire on the shelf from China or Korea, you may just get what you asked for "CHEAP".

        • 7 Years Ago
        @far jr
        ahem... firestone?
      • 7 Years Ago
      A poll (with a video): a Chinese car is cheap; do you buy that? I prefer ti spend more money... and you?
      http://dallapartedichiguida.blogosfere.it/2007/06/auto-cinese-prima-guardate-il-video-e-poi-ditemi-la-vostra.html
    • Load More Comments