An Ohio distributor has recalled about six million Chinese-made tire valve stems after concluding that some of them were improperly made and could increase the risk of accidents. The distributor, Tech International, claims that just 8,600 of roughly 6 million of those valves are defective. The valve is a replacement snap-in tire valve — Model No. TR413 — manufactured between July and November 2006. The valves were imported by Tech International from manufacturer Shanghai Baolong Industries Co. in Shanghai, China.
According to the recall, the rubber part of the valve may crack after being in use for about six months, causing a gradual loss of tire pressure. Continuing to drive on underinflated tires can cause them to burst, possibly leading to crashes. Tech International told the NHTSA that the company doesn’t have records of the final purchasers of the valve stems. According to the company, the defect was identified after “a small number” of the valves were reported by customers and one distributor to have failed. The samples were shipped to China, and, in March, Baolong concluded that some valves could be defective. Tech International wrote in a letter to NHTSA that the cause of the defect is likely improper mixing of the rubber compound in the manufacturer’s facility.
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