An Ohio distributor, Tech International, is recalling about 6 million tire valve stems after concluding that some of them were improperly made and could increase the risk of accidents. The stems were made by manufacturer Shanghai Baolong Industries Co. in Shanghai, China. It estimates that just 8,600 of roughly 6 million of those valves are defective, but this was enough for a much broader recall.
The valve is a replacement snap-in tire valve (Model No. TR413) manufactured between July and November 2006.
The recall asserts that 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. 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. “The cause of the defect is likely improper mixing of the rubber compound in the manufacturer’s facility,” Tech International wrote in a letter to the transportation safety authority.