Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., which is in the midst of a plan to build and sell more high-end products, is having to replace tires for the second time in eight months. The company is voluntarily recalling 48,037 tires because of sidewall separation. The recall, which started March 14th, covers more than 20 different Cooper Tire brands including Cooper Discoverer, Wildcat and Wild Country. The recall tarnishes Cooper’s image at a time when Chief Executive Roy Armes is trying to reposition Cooper as a maker of high-end tires usually purchased by sport-utility vehicle and luxury car owners. As you may recall, the company recalled 91,000 tires in July and a total of 296,500 in 2006.
Cooper swung to an annual profit of $119.5 million in 2007. The company has said it will follow quality programs to increase revenue and operational improvement in North America. The recalled tires were built at the company’s Albany, Georgia, plant.
Cooper, in its filing with NHTSA, said it will pay its dealers the $ 17.50 per tire cost for mounting and balancing. That charge alone would generate $840,000 in expenses. However, the safety issue is the thing that is of concern to consumers.
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