You may recall last year when several accidents and a couple deaths happened as a result of some defective tires manufactured by Chinese companies.
Now, there are reports of bad valve stems manufactured by…you guessed it, a Chinese manufacturer. A recall has been issued involving some six million valve stems.
Apparently, the stems are prone to cracking; causing them to leak; and ultimately the trire goes flat. A flat tire at highway speeds can be lethal and, so consumers are encouraged to check their tires and valve stems for possible deterioration.
You can check the stem by grasping it and gently turning it clockwise. Look for cracks in the stem, particularly where it abuts the tire rim.
The manufacturer is Tech International and the involved models are: TR413, TR413CH, TR414, TR415, TR418, AND TR423, manufactured between July and November of 2006. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine the manufacturer or model of the valve stem by a physical examination.
For more information, go to the National Highway Safety Administration recall notice and watch this very Bad Tire Valve Stems by Michelle Buckman.