Tire importer criticized after deaths
Jun 27,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criticized a New Jersey tire distributor for being slow to recall Chinese tires blamed in two deaths.

The distributor, Foreign Tire Sales, claimed it couldn't afford to recall the tires, which reportedly have the potential to come apart on the road, USA Today reported Wednesday.

"They can't wash their hands of it. That's not an option," NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason said.

Some federal lawmakers said the recall highlights the need for government oversight into Chinese imports.

"For too long, Chinese companies have completely disregarded U.S. safety laws, and this administration has stood by and done nothing," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told USA Today.

FTS, which claimed the recall would render it bankrupt, is being sued by the families of two men who died in 2006 after a tire manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber malfunctioned and caused their van to crash.

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