ERJ staff report (TB)
Rancho Cucamonga, California - Kumho Tire Co. Inc. said it has investigated production methods at its Tianjin plant in China and is taking action in the aftermath of media reports on problems with its passenger tyres made at the site.
On March 15 China's National Television Network (CCTV) reported on the use of so-called â€œrework rubberâ€ in Kumho's Tianjin factory and claims that the tyre maker used more recycled rubber from semi-finished tyres than allowed under its own guidelines at the north China plant to save costs, which could lead to lower performance and safety issues.
One news report claimed use of this type of rubber could cause the tyres to rupture. A report by China's Xinhua News Agency said Kumho, one of the largest tyre manufacturers in China, â€œhas decided to recall some of its products in China following reports that tyres made by the company failed quality standards.â€ The news agency also said Lee Han-seop, the head of Kumho's China subsidiary, â€œpublicly apologized to Chinese consumers on a CCTV program on Monday (March 21), vowing to recall all of its defective products.â€
In a press statement issued to Tire Business late in the afternoon of March 22, Kumho said the use of the rework rubber process is common to all tyre manufacturing companies where a combination of rework and original rubber is used according to scientific production standards. The use of rework rubber is not related to safety, Kumho added.
The South Korean tyre maker said its head of Research and Quality Control visited the Tianjin factory and conducted a thorough internal investigation of the production process. â€œThis fact-finding mission found that the strict internal production standards may not have been observed at the site,â€ Kumho reported in the statement.
The tyre company said â€œit would discharge employees involved in a lack of adherence to internal standards and will deal with all product-related claims from consumers in China. The CCTV report provided Kumho Tire an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the Chinese market and the importance of production process management.â€
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)
Kumho promises shoddy tyre recall; no date set China.org (China)