By Nancy K. Matthis | Friday, August 10th, 2007 at 2:02 am
First, vegetable proteins imported into the United States from China and used as ingredients in pet food sickened many animals and killed beloved cats and dogs. In addition, used in feed for farm animals, the contaminants have entered the US food supply.
Thomas The Tank Engine, made in China, was determined to be a choking hazard.
Chinese-made toothpaste containing a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze found its way to Georgia.
Fisher-Price used to be a highly respected name in toy manufacture. These all-American toys were manufactured at a state-of-the-art facility in East Aurora, New York (just south of Buffalo) by properly compensated American workers. Then the company was absorbed by Mattel, and the production was outsourced to China. Recently we learned that many of the toys may contain hazardous levels of lead paint.
Now we discover that tires manufactured in China for sale in the US lack a safety feature that prevents tread separation. There is a federally mandated recall.
But the states were way ahead of the feds on this. Tweny-four state attorneys general had already issued recalls of these same tires.
The problem was discovered as the result of an accident in Philadelphia last year.
The defect came to light in Philadelphia last year when a rear tire on a cargo van blew apart and wrapped around the axle, flipping the van into a sideways slide. Two people were killed, and a third was injured.
Foreign Tire Sales blamed Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber, China’s second-largest tire manufacturer. Foreign Tire said the Chinese company changed the design of the tire without the U.S. company’s knowledge. The companies are in a legal battle over the issue.
From CNN Money:
FTS contracted with Hangzhou Zhongce to make the tires beginning in 2000 or 2001. Initially, the tires included the 0.6 mm gum strip, as required by the tire’s design. According to documents filed with NHTSA,
FTS began to suspect problems with the tires as early as 2005 as warranty claims began to rise.
A 2006 ambulance crash prompted FTS to hire an outside lab to test several sample tires, according to documents. Those tests revealed that tires were being manufactured without the gum strip or with a gum strip that was too narrow.
Other tests, performed in March, 2007, showed that the tire treads began coming apart at about 25,000 miles, according to documents.
In August, 2006, two men riding in a Chevrolet van died when the van rolled over after the tire tread separated, according to an announcement released by an attorney representing the men’s families and Safety Research and Strategies, an auto safety research group. Another man in the van suffered permanent brain injury. The van was riding on a Compass Telluride tires made by Hangzhou Zhongce in 2004, according to the announcement.
So now, finally, the defective tires have been recalled. But that will not bring back the two men who died in the Pennsylvania car crash. They are just two more victims of our disasterous outsourcing policies.
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.
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Tags: Chinese imports, Chinese products, Outsourcing