China Tire Firm Fires Back – Gordon Fairclough and Timothy Aeppel

NA-AN256_Tires_20070625201700.gif Chinese products are confronting more setbacks in the US. After some toothpaste and toys imported from China were found defective, another safety issue has been raised over tires produced by a Chinese manufacturer. As usual, the Chinese company involved in the issue, according to the Wall Street Journal, has been defending itself:

The Chinese tire maker at the center of a recall storm in the U.S. defended the quality of its products and said a decision by its American distributor to warn U.S. federal regulators of alleged safety flaws was an effort to gain leverage in a commercial dispute between the two companies.

The confrontational response by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. — China’s second-biggest manufacturer of tires by output and a large exporter — comes amid a spate of safety problems involving Chinese-made products.

It also highlights the difficulties that can be expected as governments and courts deal with consumer-safety issues that cross borders. In this case, the result could be a collision between two very different legal systems: the common-law U.S. approach to product liability, and Communist China’s state-directed judiciary.

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