Bridgestone recall extended to the Americas
The 1.2 million tyre recall Bridgestone announced in Japan also affects some markets in the Americas, albeit on a much smaller scale. On 8 November Bridgestone Americas announced a voluntary recall of approximately 2,600 Tochigi-produced truck and bus tyres that were sold in Guam, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. The tyre maker says it has received no “field complaints of adjustments” regarding the defect in the Americas, nor has there been any report of property damage, accidents, injuries, or deaths.
The recall is attributed to a possible abnormality in the tyre inner liner caused by intermittent irregularities in the manufacturing process at Bridgestone’s Tochigi plant in Japan following a production change, which could result in decreased adhesion levels at the splice in a small number of tyres. In these instances, there is a possibility that decreased adhesion of the splice could lead to cracking and a slow air leak into the tyre sidewall. An accumulation of air could result in a bulge and eventually, in a worst case, cause a slow air leak rendering the tyre inoperable.
“This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution, as statistically it is estimated that only one unit out of the approximate 2,600 imported into the Americas may have an abnormality that could result in a slow air leak characterised in the Japanese recall,” wrote Bridgestone Americas in a statement. “All products in question were manufactured between January 2012 and August 2013 (DOT weeks 0412 – 3213).”
Bridgestone Americas says it and its relevant subsidiaries are “communicating and working” with regulatory agencies in countries across the Americas to recover subject units in accordance with local laws, and are also communicating directly with customers, company owned stores, authorised dealers, and fleet customers to recover and replace any subject tyres.
A senior Bridgestone Europe manager told Tyres & Accessories that European sales of the tyres in question were restricted to 60 pieces in Cyprus. Due to the negligible quantity of tyres sold within Europe and because Bridgestone Europe says there is no safety concern – in a worst case scenario a slow loss of air may occur – no European recall has been announced.