More Than 430,000 Cooper Tires Are Under Recall Over Sidewall Issues

Founded in 1914 as the M and M Manufacturing Company, the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is one of the rubber industry's biggest players. After a difficult 2020 because of the sanitary crisis, the Findlay-based business' financial health has been further dented by a large recall.
Cooper Tire 1 photo
Photo: Cooper
As you already know from the headline, exactly 430,298 tires are called back over “bulges or separations in the sidewall.” A bulge is typically caused by hitting road hazards such as curbs or potholes, while tread separation can usually be explained by underinflation. On this occasion, however, Cooper blames a couple of “production variations.”

What is that supposed to mean? The excess thickness of the bead filler or a stacked ply ending results in trapped air voids in the sidewall during manufacturing, causing the sidewall to bulge under load. Some of the recalled tires exhibit a visual anomaly on the sidewall after a few highway miles, and in-service conditions may include ride or steering disturbances.

According to the company, the substandard rubber shoes were produced from February 1st, 2018, to December 1st, 2019. Cooper says that both defects were eliminated through improvements in the production process and ply width specifications. Be that as it may, there’s no escaping the fact that 0.2 percent of the subject tires have been returned over bulging conditions.

The Cooper, Mastercraft, Big O, Discount Tire, Mickey Thompson, Pep Boys, TBC, Les Schwab, and Hercules brands are called back, and the models in question are from the Discoverer, Evolution, Courser, Adventurer, Terra Trac, Back Country, Multi-Mile Wild Country, Bigfoot, and Deegan families. In terms of dimensions, the rubber ranges from 275/60 by 18 inches to 275/55 by 20 inches. In terms of diameter, make that 31 and 32 inches.

Known owners will be notified of these issues on March 25th, according to Cooper. Dealers have been instructed to replace all tires on the vehicle at no cost whatsoever to the customer. If you want to make sure you’re up for a new set of tires, the NHTSA’s online look-up tool should serve you well by running your car’s 17-character identification number.
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 Download: Cooper Tire 2021 recall - affected brands and models (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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