Faulty Chinese Valve Stems under Federal Investigation

Faulty Chinese Valve Stems under Federal Investigation

In response to a federal investigation, state authorities have begun to examine the sale and distribution of a Chinese-made brand of replacement rubber valve stems. The investigation was set in motion after the Chinese car part was linked to a fatal rollover crash in Orlando, Florida.

The family of the man who died in the auto accident is suing the manufacturer for wrongful death.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office is looking into spearheading a state investigation of the defective rubber valve stems, which have been distributed throughout the country, including Connecticut.

"The concerns are profoundly serious, because they involve the fundamental safety and well-being of drivers," said Blumenthal. "There's no more important part in any car in terms of drivers and their families" than a safely functioning tire.

Faulty Car Part Jeopardizes Safety

The product under investigation is the TR 413 model, a 1.25-inch valve stem made by Shanghai Baolong Industries Co. Ltd. The valve has reportedly been known to lose air pressure after installation.

There have been reports of gradual loss of tire pressure as well as abrupt deflation. Both situations, according to experts, make it difficult for drivers to control their vehicles and may result in fatal accidents.

Possible Recall

According to federal officials, there have been 23 million faulty parts manufactured between July and mid-November 2006. The federal agency recently announced that they are upgrading their investigation to an “engineering analysis,” allowing safety officials to conduct safety inspections and tests on the products.

If this goes through, the Chinese valve stems may be recalled.

(Source: Greenwich Time)

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