Not the same tire at Walmart? CR Responds

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Posted by Frank on March 11, 1999 at 12:30:38:

-----Original Message-----
From: ConsumerReportsOnline_Letters [SMTP:IMCEAEX-_O=MATRIXX_OU=ISD_CN=CUNION
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 1998 12:04 PM
To: Frank
Subject: Re: Same Tire - Different Specs?

************************* Original Message *************************
On April 17, 1998 10:04, Frank wrote:

As an online subscriber, I have enjoyed reading your reports on
automobile tires. I recently was told something by someone in the
tire business that seemed a bit troublesome, and I thought I would
pass this by you and see what you think.

I had mentioned to him that I had often found good deals on tires at
Sam's Club, often about a $20 difference per tire than from a retail
dealer. He stated that the tires made for discount stores
(Walmarts, Kmarts, Sam's Clubs, etc.) were a different quality than
the tire sold at a dealer. Even though they had the same brand
name, same model name, they were inferior in quality. He stated
that is why you would get a warranty from the discount store and not
the tire manufacturer.

He also went on to say that the tires put on new cars are the same
way. He stated that the tire manufacturers make a point in ensuring
that tires for new cars are quieter than the off-the-shelf tires to
help sell the car. They therefore "make a different tire" using the
same brand and model name, but with apparently softer rubber (which
obviously results in shorter treadlife.)

This seemed a little incredible to me, and have no reason to
disbelieve this person as he has been a friend of mine. Now he is
not a tire dealer, but does work for the tire industry.

But, if consumers are getting an inferior say, Michelin MXV4 or
Goodyear Invicta, tire buying it at Walmart versus a Michelin or
Goodyear dealer, than I think consumers are being seriously mislead
by the tire industry.

Thank you and keep up the great website!

Thanks for your e-mail asking about the quality of tires being sold
at discount stores. Here's what our experts said:

"He is correct in what he says to a certain extent. Tire
manufacturers make all the tires that go to the car manufacturers and
to after-market on the same machines. However, they then quality
check 100% of the produced tires, as the manufacture of tires can be
hit and miss. The best quality tires usually go to the OE
manufacturers, the next grade usually to the tire stores and the 3rd
grade usually go to the discount stores."

I hope this information is helpful. Thanks again for your e-mail,
and I hope you continue to enjoy the benefits of Consumer Reports

Customer Relations

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