Founded over a century ago, the company now known as Cooper Tires has grown to be one of the industry’s major players. Unfortunately, it follows up a difficult 2020 with a major recall involving 430,298 tires. The cause is bulges and separations in the tire sidewall. Typically, bulges occur from running over a hazard like a pothole, while tread separation occurs if the tires are under-inflated.
The cause of the flaw
The company officially listed the issue as “production variations.” The sidewall variation involved an excess thickness of bead filler or stacked ply, causing air bubbles between the layers during manufacturing. This flaw led to the bulge, which occurred after a few highway miles and can be detected as affecting the ride and steering. The company produced the tires between February 1, 2018, and December 1, 2019. A statement claims that substandard rubber caused the flaw, and there have since been changes in tire production to fix the issue.
Cooper also manufactured the following brands and models:
- Cooper — Discoverer, Evolution and Adventurer
- Mastercraft — Courser
- Hercules — Terra Trac
- Les Schwab — Back Country
- Multi-Mile — Wild Country
- Big O — Bigfoot
- Mickey Thompson – Deegan
What to do
The company will send out the recall to known tire owners by March 25, 2021. Dealers are supposed to replace all tires at no cost to the consumer. However, there may need to be legal action if these flaws cause serious injury to the driver or others.