Bridgestone reimburses Surrey man after sports tires rip apart
Lynda Steele & Sandra Hermiston, CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 6, 2013 8:53PM PST
North American tire giant Bridgestone has reimbursed a Surrey man after he experienced a series of suspicious tire blowouts - which could have proven deadly.
Just eight months after Jas Jandi leased his new Mercedes sports car, one of his brand new Bridgestone Potenza sport tires tore around the sidewall.
The Mercedes dealer in RIchmond told Jandi that it was normal wear and tear. But eight months later a second tire ripped along the sidewall.
"If I was doing 100 [km/hr] on the highway, and a tire went on the highway, I would have gone into the side,” said Jandi.
Again, the dealer insisted it was normal wear and tear and emailed Jandi to say the Bridgestone Potenza sport tires on his leased Mercedes "do wear aggressively, this is simply the characteristic of the tire, and not to be considered as a deficiency in design or construction."
The Mercedes dealer did not offer Jandi a refund, but said he would sell him a new sport tire at the reduced price of $635. Jandi ended up purchasing the same tire in the U.S. for $350.
He also had to pay for the second damaged tire, which made Jandi’s father furious.
"There's no customer protection after you buy the car. The dealership doesn't care who you are, they only care until you buy it. Once you buy it, then they don't care," said Dr. Avtar Jandi.
And now Jandi is concerned about a third Bridgestone Potenza tire on his vehicle that has a suspicious bulge on it.
“I'm not really sure about how safe it is," said Jandi.
Jandi emailed Bridgestone but received no reply. The company did respond after CTV consumer reporter Lynda Steele contacted its corporate headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee on his behalf.
While the company told Steele there was no evidence of a defect or trend, it did offer to fully refund Jandi for the two blown tires and replace the remaining rear wheels on his vehicle.
"This customer has experienced several issues with the tires and we just felt like as part of our normal policy, we like to stand behind the customer and we're always going to do whatever we can to retain our loyal customers," said Kurt Berger, Bridgestone Manager of Consumer Products Engineering.
Berger says based on Jandi service records, it looks like the first tire may have been punctured, which caused the sidewall to blow. The company is arranging to have the second tire shipped to their U.S. headquarters for further investigation. Bridgestone believes the bulge on the third tire may have been caused by hitting a pothole.
Bridgestone says it’s important that all customers be proactive with their tire maintenance and reminds motorists to have their tires periodically inspected for damage and proper inflation.